(Nearly) all reviews on Alternative Investments, and other ways to find the right place to invest
If you roughly know which loans you want to invest in (consumer, real-estate, business) and which platform features you request, this filterable list of reviews will allow you to quickly find which platforms match your choices.
As I’m still in the process of migrating the reviews from one format to another, a few outdated reviews don’t appear in this index. I’ll add them back as soon as I manage to bring them up-to-date.
If you’re looking for an easier way to choose where to invest, the following articles are likely to help you :
- First, here’s a detailed comparison of peer-to-peer lending platforms.
- Also on the topic of P2P loans, here are the reasons why I don’t recommend using Mintos strategies or Bondora’s Go & Grow, along with worthy alternative to these user-friendly but dangerous products.
- Finally, we compiled a list of our favorite crowdlending platforms
Filtering the data
Investors who know which loans they want to invest in can easily find which platforms match their preferences, using the following criteria :
- Loans kind
- Investment duration
- Buyback feature
- Auto-invest availability
- Presence of a secondary market or other early exit mechanism
Which loans do you want to invest in ? Individual loans are rather standard, and in most case come with the added safety of a buyback guarantee. They’re often rather short-term, although car loans usually span over several years. Business and real-estate loans often offer higher returns, but they are more speculative.
For how long do you want to invest ? If you want to invest in long-term loans, it’s strongly advised to use a platform that features a secondary market or offers an early exit option, in case you need to access your funds before the loan maturity date.
Loans covered by a buyback guarantee A buyback guarantee is a guarantee provided by the platform or a loan originator. If repayment of a loan is delayed by more than a given delay (usually 30 or 60 days), the platform or loan originator will buy back the loan. The guarantee may cover only part of the capital, or in a much more interesting case, both the capital and accrued interests. As the conditions vary from one platform to another, it’s very important to check this point. are usually safer than those without it. Learn more about the buyback guarantee on our article about borrower’s default.
Early exit (secondary market or other mechanisms)
A very useful feature when investing in long-term loans is a secondary market, which is a marketplace where investors may resell their loans to other investors. Other platforms offer a buyback option, meaning that they will buy the loan back; however, this usually incurs a rather large fee.
Being able to invest automatically based on your investment preferences has several benefits : it allows to save time, prevents tedious and repetitive loans selection, and increases diversification. However, while this feature is standard for personal loans, not all platforms for business and real-estate loans offer it.
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Select at least one value for each criterion, or less restrictive criteria !
While the interest rates offered by EstateGuru‘s projects are lower than at Crowdestor, BulkEstate or ReInvest24, this platform provides great investment opportunities for those who want a more conservative portfolio. It’s also an excellent complement to CrowdEstate‘s real-estate loans.
EstateGuru’s long list of successfully repaid loans (as well as the way they managed the defaulted projects) help build confidence in this platform. It took me a long time to invest there, as I initially targeted more speculative loans. However, I now regularly add funds to this portfolio, in order to have a more balanced loans portfolio.
I used to prefer CrowdEstate over BulkEstate, thanks to the superior interface and much larger loans volume. However, after more than two years on both platforms, I can’t help but notice that the performance of my BulkEstate portfolio is much higher.
Moreover, BulkEstate’s track record is basically spotless, while CrowdEstate is struggling with late or defaulted business loans.
Overall, the platform’s projects offer a good risk/reward ratio for investors who want slightly more speculative loans than at EstateGuru.
Mintos got a lot of bad press throughout 2020, and many investors plan to leave the platform after losing money when several loan originators defaulted. At the same time, several other investors report that their Mintos portfolio provides the best performance among their peer-to-peer loans portfolios.
I tend to agree with the latter group, and consider that Mintos success is well deserved. Indeed, my portfolio delivers an excellent and very regular performance. Moreover, the impressive loans volume means that basically any amount can be invested without fearing a cash drag. Finally, thanks to the availability of Mintos strategies, even beginner investors can easily invest through the platform – although, as we’ll see, I basically recommend against using them -.
Of course, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. This especially holds true when it comes to providing reliable information about the loan originators.
In one word, as long as investors are aware of potential risks, Mintos proves to be an excellent choice.
At first glance, Robocash‘s offer seems less appealing than most competitors. Indeed, interest rates are lower than at Swaper and Lendermarket – especially after the recent decrease -. Moreover, in terms of website ergonomics, the platform really lags behind all of these competitors.
Despite these drawbacks, the financial solidity of the platform’s parent group incites me to grant Robocash the same rating as Moncera.
Since Summer 2020, many improvements were unveiled at Crowdestor. It started with the enhanced projects descriptions and borrower’s credit report, which are a huge step forward in terms of investors information. In addition, the long awaited investor’s cabinet now provides useful data regarding the portfolio’s status. Similarly, the new loan management system (LMS) now guarantees that investors are kept up-to-date in term of projects updates. Finally, the availability of public statistics is an improvement in terms of transparency, although they may actually be biased, as we’ll see.
However, the current performance of Crowdestor’s loans portfolio is rather bad. Many loans are delayed or defaulted; roughly half outstanding projects are delayed by more than one month ! In addition, the reliability of the recovery process remains to be proven.
For now, unfortunately, investing in Crowdestor looks like a gamble. I really like this platform, but would advise prospective investors to carefully assess the projects they invest in !
Thanks to a great financial performance, seemingly reliable loan originators and a simple but effective website, I used to rate Lendermarket four stars. Unfortunately, the lack of a serious audit lead me to reduce this rating slightly. Once completed, the ongoing audit by KPMG is likely to make me reconsider.
For a long time, thanks to the excellent performance, it was totally worth investing some time (and of course money) on this platform, in spite of the terrible interface. But now that the loans volume has decreased, it’s harder to recommend it as much as I used to. Moreover, Omaraha’s lack of transparency and non-existent communication are clear negatives.
In spite of this, for investors who want to focus solely on consumer loans, Omaraha still offers the best returns.
Thanks to the large selection of reliable loan originators A loan originator is the firm that originally provides the loan to the borrower. They usually lend a small percent of the amount using their own funds, while the remaining is put on sale on loans marketplaces. The part of the loan kept by the originator is called called skin in the game; it’s typically 5%-10% of the loan amount, and is supposed to encourage originators to provide quality loans., overall ease of use and good returns, PeerBerry is an excellent alternative – or complement – to Mintos.
It’s a pity that ViaInvest‘s offer is relatively complex when it comes to business or real-estate loans. In addition, the platform’s website pales in comparison to the well-designed interface most competitors offer.
Overall, ViaInvest provides a good way to diversify a P2P loans portfolio through reliable loan originators.
Although I still appreciate the large supply of loans available at CrowdEstate, I have to admit that my portfolio’s performance is deceiving. The actual returns for speculative loans are far from the expected ones !
Overall, I’m much more impressed by EstateGuru, both in terms of transparency and performance.
It has always been hard for me to choose between Robocash and Swaper. For a long time, Swaper’s much better ergonomics has incited me to prefer this platform, in spite of the cash drags which used to occur regularly.
However, what finally tipped the scale in favor of Robocash is this platform’s transparency and financial solidity. Indeed, Swaper’s loan originators are mostly blackboxes, which publish zero financial information. In contrast, Robocash Group provides audited financial statements. They show that the group has been consistently profitable for several years.