Happy new year everyone! Let’s have a look at how my investment portfolio performed in December 2021.
As always, I’m going to cover all my investments: P2P lending, stocks (ETFs) including the dividends I received, my highly volatile crypto assets and the income I derived from lending out some of the latter.
A lot has happened in December. I’ll show you how everything did and we’ll discuss important events in the markets and the peer to peer lending space. I also changed my mind regarding some aspects of crypto lending.
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 start off with ETFs, the largest portion of my investments.
As you probably know by now, my wife and I like to keep this part super simple, by only buying a single ETF, the accumulating Vanguard FTSE All-World (ISIN: IE00BK5BQT80, Ticker: VWCE) on a monthly basis.
If you want to know more about our strategy, also in the context of protecting our money from inflation, make sure you check out this recent post of mine:
After a difficult month in November, the stock market continued its rally to new highs.
Here is how our ETF performed (in Euros):
- +4,44% in December
- +28,20% for the full year of 2021
Those are some of the best returns I’ve seen in my own investment career, but we shouldn’t forget that the EUR also lost quite a bit in value versus the USD over this period, which boosted our returns in EUR terms.
If we switch to the performance in USD, the numbers are about 10% lower for last year (+18,33%), but then again other years were better for US investors.
My wife and I only switched to the accumulating version of the Vanguard FTSE All World at the beginning of 2021, but we kept our existing shares in the distributing version as well as the xTrackers MSCI World ETF.
Both of these are still in line with our investment strategy. It wouldn’t make any sense to sell them, realize substantial profits (they’re up 40-60% as you can see below) and to have to fully tax those profits already now, instead of in retirement, when we actually need the money.
In December we received dividends from both of our distributing ETFs. 295€ from the Vanguard FTSE All-World and 84€ from the xtrackers MSCI World, for a total of 379€.
If you need some excellent, low-cost brokerage accounts to get into stocks & ETFs, I recommend checking out these two first:
- Interactive Brokers
- Degiro – Their 200 commission-free ETFs are a great place to start (ETFs & conditions)
If you’re from Austria like me or from Germany, where taxes are more complicated, you can find my favorite local brokers here. These take care of the taxation for you, making your life a lot easier.
Let’s talk about my investments in P2P lending.
This is my platform allocation on the 1st of January, 2022:
I’m working on removing Crowdestor and moving that money to other platforms.
Let’s see how each platform did individually.
- Income (December 2021): 40,43€
- IRR: 11,37%
- Invested since: 27.09.2018
A lot has happened on Mintos last month. First of all, my funds in recovery dropped by 200€ or close to 10%, which I was happy to see.
Having said that, sadly it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns on Mintos last month.
To protect investors, the Turkish car loan originator Wowwo was suspended because its local currency, the Turkish lira has been losing a lot in value against the euro, leading to exchange rate losses for the company.
Mintos is currently in talks with Wowwo to find a solution. Luckily, the exchange rate has recovered quite a bit since then.
The platform also sent out an e-mail announcing the introduction of a monthly 2,90€ fee for inactive accounts.
Before you freak out, the fee will only be charged if all three of these conditions are met:
- You haven’t invested or sold anything for 6 months in a row
- Your uninvested funds make up more than 30% of your total account balance
- You have over 100€ in uninvested funds
Nothing will change for 99,9% of you, but it’s still worth knowing about.
- Income (December 2021): 28,67€
- IRR: 12,08%
- Invested since: 11.10.2019
Via SMS, the group of lending companies offering all the loans on Viainvest, published its long awaited audited financial statement for 2020.
For the first time since 2012, the group generated a net loss: -282.953€. Considering everything that happened in 2020, I see no reason for concern.
The group increased their equity ratio and the group’s balance sheet is still looking very solid to my eyes. You can find the full financial statement here.
Not only that, the group also published its financial results for the first half of 2021 recently, where it generated a net profit of 1.025.645€ so far. Just to put things into perspective.
As a result, I remain very confident in my investments on the platform.
- Get a 10€ signup bonus on Viainvest via my link.
- Income (December 2021): 36,69€
- IRR: 12,12%
- Invested since: 19.01.2021
December was my best month so far on Robocash.
On December 16th, Robocash announced that long term loans with durations of 90 days or more will now pay interest every 30 days, starting from the day when you invested into the loan.
- Income (December 2021): 39,76€
- IRR: 14,46%
- Invested since: 21.11.2019
Lendermarket remains my most profitable platform in the peer to peer lending space. The only thing I’m missing at the moment are more loans from other countries Creditstar is active in, for a bit more diversification by country as well as loan durations.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve mostly seen short-term loans up to 30 days from Poland and Spain (which are great if you prefer getting your invested funds back more quickly) or long-term loans with durations of several years from Estonia.
I’d personally love to see more loans from the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Denmark as well, which usually offer loan durations somewhere in the middle.
- Get 1% cashback on your investments on Lendermarket after 60 days by signing up via my link.
- Income (December 2021): 20,27€
- IRR: 11,69%
- Invested since: 05.10.2018
Easy Credit, iCredit Poland and Kviku, three lending companies I invest in on Iuvo Group, published their financial results for Q3 2021. All of them were profitable, which is good to see.
- Request a referral here to get 1,5% cashback on Iuvo Group
- Income (December 2021): 45,58€
- IRR: 8,50%
- Invested since: 03.04.2019
December was my best month since July on Crowdestor, but my plans haven’t changed. I withdrew 140,06€ on December 23rd, and I’m still planning to remove this platform from my list.
24 out of 38 loans in my account are still late at the moment. I can’t recommend Crowdestor until most of them are fully paid back.
Bondora Go & Grow
- Income (December 2021): 9,99€
- IRR (incl. withdrawals): 6,68%
- Invested since: 01.09.2018
- Income (December 2021): 4,78€
- IRR: 7,20%
- Invested since: 12.10.2020
EstateGuru just added different investment strategies and finally reduced its 250€ minimum for their custom auto invest to 50€.
This means I would finally be able to properly diversify without spending time on the platform, so I’m considering whether or not to add more funds to EstateGuru.
The only thing that’s holding me back are the interest rates, which seem to be around 9% on average at the moment for new loans.
- Use this link for a 0,5% bonus on EstateGuru for the first 3 months.
- Income (December 2021): 10,48€
- Invested since: 03.02.2020
- IRR: 7,39%
One of my two remaining real-estate loans on EvoEstate was fully paid back.
The actual return was quite a bit lower at 9,5% compared to the expected return (14,52%), but I still earned 10,48€ in interest.
My Income From P2P Lending in December
I earned a total of 236,67€ in interest from P2P lending in December.
According to Portfolio Performance, the free tool I use to track my investments, that’s a respectable return of 0,83% for the month and an internal rate of return of 9,52% from P2P lending for the full year 2021. I’m quite happy with that.
Bitcoin & Ethereum
Now, let’s get to my last investment category. My roller-coaster investments in the two largest crypto assets Bitcoin and Ethereum.
I try to limit these to about 10% of my portfolio, as they are a lot more speculative. And well, December was probably quite painful for anyone that’s new to the space and not used to this much volatility.
Let’s see what happened:
- -18% in December
- +73% yearly return in 2021
- -21% in December
- +449% yearly return in 2021
You certainly won’t hear me complaining about how my portion of crypto performed last year, but I know very well how difficult it can be to see your portfolio in the red if you just entered this space recently.
As always, make sure you size this high-risk asset class correctly.
Don’t go above 1-10% of your portfolio, especially if you’re new and likely to sell in the middle of a crash and don’t invest an amount you absolutely cannot afford to lose in a worst case scenario.
My last source of investment income for December was crypto lending.
My thoughts regarding Celsius Network and similar platforms actually changed a bit throughout the last month.
With all of my investments, I want to make sure I understand & can verify the business model and how the returns are generated. I don’t want to be in a position where I just blindly trust what someone else is saying, as too often that can turn out to be a lie. I much prefer seeing actual data I can verify myself.
In my opinion, Celsius Network operates in this grey area.
Why I Left Celsius Network
After using Celsius extensively throughout 2021 to generate interest on stable coins as well as some crypto, I decided to withdraw all of my funds. Here are the 3 reasons why:
- Recently, one of its employees was being investigated by the police and its previous CFO was arrested because he was running a side business with a money launderer in Israel.
- The company lost $54 million in crypto it lent out to BadgerDAO to generate interest. No investor lost money (Celsius covered the loss with its own funds), but it still seems like their risk management could be improved.
- I get a bit of a cult feeling from the company and their community members, which I really don’t like. The CEO constantly mentions how great they are and how they’re the only ones to give 80% of the interest they generate back to the community in the form of weekly rewards. But there’s actually no way to prove that’s really the case. They also constantly badmouth their competition (Nexo and BlockFi) and I feel like they avoid answering difficult questions in their weekly AMAs.
Now you know why I decided to move my funds elsewhere and why I won’t be talking or recommending Celsius Network any more.
I’m still learning a lot it this field and I hope you can take something away from my experience, which I always want to share with you openly.
So, what am I doing instead?
FTX – Blockfolio
I’m still occasionally using the FTX exchange to lend out some funds via margin lending. Interest is paid on an hourly basis and the interest rate fluctuates based on how much demand there is for an asset.
Here, I know exactly how my funds are lent out and where the interest comes from.
Not only that, being one of the largest exchanges in the world with over 17 billion dollars in daily volume, FTX is a highly profitable business.
If you want to know the historic lending rates for each asset on the exchange, you can find those on FTXPremiums.
Now, just last month I made another nice discovery.
On Blockfolio, which was purchased by FTX in 2020 for 150 million dollars, you can earn interest on all cash or crypto you deposit. I had heard about it in US podcasts, so I assumed the offer was only for US investors. Luckily, that’s not the case.
Here’s the best part:
- They’re currently paying 8% per year for the first 10.000 USD of crypto or cash. You can even deposit Euros.
- 5% p.a. for anything above that amount
The yield is paid directly by FTX, a highly profitable exchange. That to me makes this a very interesting option from a risk perspective.
To start earning interest on your assets, make sure you click on Settings – Profile and enable “Earn yield on assets”.
Here’s how much I earned in total in Euros, Ethereum and Bitcoin on FTX in December:
It actually worked really well as a short-term Euro cash buffer, as I have a big upcoming tax bill.
Not only that, during my last month on Celsius for the foreseeable future, I earned 45€. That’s a total of 112,77€ in interest from these two income sources.
And that’s everything as far as my investments are concerned!
My TV Appearance
Regarding more personal news, last month I was interviewed on the Austrian TV talkshow Vera about frugalism and financial independence.
One of Vera’s cameramen also came to our place to record some additional video material to include during the talk.
All in all, it was a really fun experience! I’m hoping I don’t come off too badly in the recording, as I was a bit nervous.
It should air sometime later this month on the Austrian TV network ORF2.
Since it’s in German, I would like to create a reaction video once it’s out, where I’m hopefully allowed to include clips of the episode and give you more background information.
I’ll let you know once it goes live.
Well, unless I hate it. Then I’ll keep it a secret forever!
My Investments in 2021 (December) – The Video
You might enjoy these posts:
- Inflation Is Here – My 2022 Investment Strategy
- ETF Investing for Europeans in 2022 (Incl. Broker Tutorials)
- My Top 5 P2P Lending Platforms – Here Is Why
- Distributing or Accumulating ETFs: What You Need To Know
- Robocash Review: How Did I Miss This One? (12,56%)
- Viainvest Review – 2 Years Later (12,16%)
- 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.