While summer months are usually relatively boring in financial markets, this one has been pretty eventful so far. We have both good and bad news to talk about this time.
The good news is, the stock market continued its rally through July. The bad news is, one of the big 3 rating agencies (Fitch) recently downgraded the US credit rating. The last time this happened, things didn’t look too pretty in the markets the following weeks.
So yeah, let’s have a closer look and see if there’s anything that we should do as ETF investors.
Apart from that, we’ll of course also discuss any important events in my two other investments, P2P lending and crypto up to August 4th, 2023 (the time of my video).
Please don’t forget that none of this is investment advice, just my personal opinion based on my own experience as an investor.
Let’s jump right into it and begin with the largest chunk of our investments, stocks in the form of broad low-cost ETFs.
Here’s where our ETF portfolio stood on August 4th 2023:
- 28% Information technology
- 15% Financials
- 12% Healthcare
- 11% Consumer discretionary
- 11% Industrials
- 6,5% Consumer staples
- 5% Energy
- 4% Materials
- 3% Utilities
- 2% Other (whatever that means)
- 2% Communication services.
The one and only ETF we buy, the accumulating Vanguard FTSE All-World (ISIN: IE00BK5BQT80, VWCE), was up 2,18% in July, for a much better than expected performance of +14,07% since the start of the year.
Is an ETF Crash About to Happen?
Ok, but now let’s get to what happened recently.
On August 1st, the United States debt rating was downgraded by Fitch, from the top-rating AAA to the second-best AA+. This means that there are now only 9 countries left in the world with the best credit rating score: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.
A major reason for the downgrade is that the US debt keeps increasing and actually ballooned over the past few years since Covid, to a total of 31,5 trillion dollars in Q1 2023:
Now, unless you’re living in the US, your primary concern is probably how this could impact your investments in the stock market, for which most of you (me included) use passive low-cost ETFs. After all, US stocks currently make up 60% of my favorite ETF, the Vanguard FTSE All-World on a market cap basis.
Well, as it turns out, this wasn’t the first time the US got downgraded. Standard & Poor’s did the same exactly 12 years ago.
Last time, the global stock market dropped by 13% within only 3 weeks of the rating downgrade. Just keep in mind that last time the Greek debt crisis reached its peak around that same time, which negatively impacted European stock markets as well.
Well, a 13% drop within such a short time definitely looks scary. But now let’s have a look at how the market performed afterwards:
As it turns out, the market fully recovered within 5 months and was actually up 13,28% just one year after the rating downgrade. And 12 years later, what was once a scary event just looks like another small blip on the market’s long-term upwards trajectory.
By the way, you might be interested to know that Standard & Poor’s hasn’t actually changed its US debt rating since 2011, Fitch simply joined them with the same rating now, 12 years later.
Based on how limited the markets reaction has been so far compared to how quickly it dropped 12 years ago, I do think investors are less worried this time around.
Could we see another small correction? Of course, that’s always possible. I mean the stock market has gone up a ton since the start of the year and corrections or even crashes are part of the journey.
In my opinion that would be another buying opportunity though and if you’re a long-term investor like my wife and I, what happens in the short-term shouldn’t really matter anyway. Our strategy once again remains the same, we simply buy one ETF, the accumulating Vanguard FTSE All-World every month (using Interactive Brokers or another one of these low-cost brokers), no matter what the latest news headline is trying to make everyone worry about.
Ok, let’s move on to my investments in P2P lending.
- Income (July 2023): 64,62€
- IRR: 10,26%
- Invested since: 27.09.2018
Mintos had a decent month with almost 65€ in earnings. I’m happy to see that my overdue payments decreased by 105€ and I’m hoping this trend will continue.
The Eleving Group, one of my favorite groups of lending companies on Mintos, acquired ExpressCredit in July to expand its lending activities in Africa. In my opinion that’s good for us investors, as this means new ExpressCredit loans now come with a group guarantee, making them a lot more attractive.
- Sign up to Mintos via this link and invest 1.000€ or more before 31.08.2023, to get a €50 instant bonus and 1% cashback on your average investment in the first 90 days.
- Income (July 2023): 44,47€
- IRR: 12,67%
- Invested since: 19.09.2022
Esketit, one of my favorite platforms, also ran smooth as usual. A total of 27,7 million euros of loans were funded on the platform in July alone, the largest amount so far by a significant margin. It’s pretty clear that Esketit is still very popular among European investors.
- Get a 0,5% bonus on all of your investments on Esketit within the first 90 days via my link.
- Income (July 2023): 53,50€
- IRR: 12,24%
- Invested since: 11.10.2019
Meanwhile, I had my best month ever on Viainvest, with a total of 53,5€ in interest payments!
- Get 1% cashback on your average daily investment balance on Viainvest within the first 90 days via my link
- Income (July 2023): 50,53€
- IRR: 12,28%
- Invested since: 19.01.2021
Then we have Robocash, where I had my best month ever with 50,53€ in earnings.
The Robocash Group, offering all the loans on Robocash published its results for the first half of 2023. In Q2, they managed to increase revenue by 20,5% to 40,6 million and net profit rose by 67% compared to Q1, to 2,5 million USD.
It’s great to see that the group is doing so well financially, as that’s important for the buyback obligation on its loans.
- Income (July 2023): 46,81€
- IRR: 12,92%
- Invested since: 17.03.2022
Next up is Income Marketplace, which also performed well in July. The availability of loans was a bit lower than usual, but I was still able to be fully invested most of the time, with my favorite lending company ITF Group adding new 15% interest loans on a regular basis.
- Get a 1% bonus on your average investment balance on Income after 30 days using this link.
- Income (July 2023): 42,31€
- IRR: 13,34% (incl. 1% investment bonus)
- Invested since: 19.09.2022
July was my best month so far on Lande, with a total of 42,31€ in earnings coming from interest payments as well as a cashback campaign they had running for existing investors that signed up more than 6 months ago. Since I was planning on increasing my account size anyway, I invested an additional 500€ on July 17th.
- Get a 1% bonus on all of your investments on Lande within the first 180 days via my link.
Withdrawal in Progress: Lendermarket, Iuvo, Crowdestor, Bondster
I’m still continuing my withdrawals from Lendermarket.
P2P Lending Income July
I earned a total of 303,03€ from P2P lending in July, making this a good month overall.
According to Portfolio Performance, the free tool I use to track my investments, that’s a monthly return of 0,75% and an internal rate of return of 9,01% from P2P lending this year.
Last but not least, let’s see how the highly speculative small portion of my portfolio I have in the two largest crypto assets, Bitcoin and Ethereum performed:
- Bitcoin: -4,8% in July, +75% year-to-date
- Ethereum: -4,7% in July, +52,8% year-to-date
And that’s pretty much everything that happened regarding my investments in July!
In case you’re wondering how close my wife and I are currently to financial independence and early retirement in Austria and what we learned throughout our 7 year journey so far, make sure you check out this recent post of mine if you haven’t seen it yet:
I honestly believe it’s one of my best ones so far. But let me know what you think about it!
Thank you for being here, have a wonderful weekend and until next time!
- My Investment Tools
A list containing all my investments in P2P Lending, the brokerage accounts I use to buy ETFs, my speculative investments in Bitcoin and my free bank accounts. It even includes the tools I use for blogging and YouTube.
- P2P Bonus Offers
A collection of all the best, currently available bonus and cashback offers in the P2P lending space. Regularly updated.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risks of losses. You should always do your own research before investing into anything. Also, some of the links are affiliate links, which help support me, the website & YouTube channel. I only link to services I use myself, none of them are sponsored.