Wow, this year sure hasn’t been boring. I don’t think anyone could have foreseen everything that happened already, all within such a short time-frame.
With the virus currently spreading all over the world, I hope you’re all safe and healthy, washing your hands on a regular basis and that your personal lives aren’t too negatively affected by everything that’s going on.
That being said, welcome to my P2P lending income update for February 2020! Apart from my monthly income, deposits and withdrawals for each P2P lending platform, this update also includes some changes I’m making to my portfolio.
Virus and Recession Fears
What a crazy year this has been already. After January’s shocking events regarding Envestio for many P2P investors including myself, the world is currently in crisis mode, trying to deal with the spread of the virus.
That uncertainty has understandably led to a steep correction of stock & ETF prices, with many investors fearing this will lead to the next recession. For a bit of context, my Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF is currently down about 20% from its record high on February 19th.
In the midst of all of this, we shouldn’t forget that recessions are a normal part of the economic cycle. If you’re a young investor like myself with a long time horizon, a stock market crash is one of the best things that can happen to you to accumulate wealth long-term. After all, it means you’re getting a substantial discount on stocks/ETFs you buy during this period. I personally see it as a valuable experience, after all stock prices don’t only go up, and this is where the equity risk-premium is ultimately earned.
Of course it always feels like this time is different and that the world is ending, especially if you read news headlines all day. After all, we’re dealing with a new virus and we can’t predict exactly when the situation is going to normalize.
Nonetheless, I’m positive that we’ll get through this, as the world has made it through worse periods in the past. Until then, please take care of yourself, prioritize your health above everything else and stay safe out there.
Getting back to investing, in this particular situation I’m grateful to have what I consider a relatively diversified portfolio. Let’s take a look at how my peer to peer lending platforms performed last month.
P2P Lending Income – February 2020 Overview
*My Wisefund buyback request was filled on February 11th, but I paid ~17% (166€) in early-exit fees.
**After what happened, we’ll have to wait and see if/when we get some of the funds back from Envestio. For now, I’m writing off the entire amount.
- Income from P2P Lending (Feb. 2020): 312,38€ (-40,1€)
Total Earned: 3.875,17€
- Total Lost: 82,64€ (after Envestio, Wisefund)
- Internal Rate of Return: -0,30%
- Start: 01.09.2018
Things are starting to look a bit better compared to the first month of the year. However, I wasn’t able to bring my total earnings back to a positive number just yet, since I paid early-exit fees for leaving Wisefund. More on that later.
I’m currently at 21% (-2,5%) of my goal, 1.500€ monthly passive income from investments.
- Income (Feb. 2020): 33,59€ (+0,83€)
- IRR: 14,08%
- Invested since: 05.10.2018
My income from Iuvo Group grew slightly last month. All in all, I’m a happy investor, as the platform’s Auto Invest takes care of everything for me.
- Don’t forget to take advantage of the 90€ Refer-a-friend Bonus, if you’re interested in Iuvo Group.
- My Iuvo Group Review (incl. Auto Invest settings)
- Income (Feb. 2020): 91,42€ (+20,9€)
- IRR: 12,73%
- Invested since: 27.09.2018
My Mintos income increased substantially in February, since many loans, especially from South-East Asia, are now offered with higher interest rates compared to a couple of months ago.
As a result, I added 1.000€ to my account on February 17th.
Mintos Invest & Access
- Income (Feb. 2020): 7,06€ (-1,28€)
- IRR: 10,10%
- Invested since: 12.06.2019
On March 1st, a whopping 37,79% of my funds on Invest & Access were unavailable for cash out, as they were either late or in grace period. That’s a much higher percentage of late loans than the market average.
If quick access to your invested amount is a priority for you, you should take a look at the next platform in my portfolio.
Bondora Go & Grow
- Income (Feb. 2020): 15,87€ (+2,93€)
- IRR (incl. withdrawals): 6,64%
- Invested since: 01.09.2018
My income from Go & Grow increased further in February.
Bondora Go & Grow remains the best platform for short-term investments in P2P lending in my opinion. I can withdraw the full amount of my deposit, including the daily interest I earned at any time (-1€ flat withdrawal fee).
Due to the extra flexibility, I’m ok with the interest rate being slightly lower at 6,75% per year.
- Income (Feb. 2020): 33,31€ (-1,85€)
- IRR: 13,98%
- Invested since: 02.10.2018
Grupeer added two-factor authentication and portfolio statistics to its platform recently and my investments have been running smoothly. So far so good, but…
Bernhard’s Grupeer visit in Riga & Minsk
As I announced in my last monthly update, my friend Bernhard Hummel recently visited Grupeer in Riga and even got to see one of Primo Invest’s large development projects personally in Minsk. He filmed everything and I’m very grateful for all the time & money that he put into his trip.
Here are the first four videos of his trip, the others should follow soon:
- Grupeer Office Tour
- Interview with Alla Kisika – Part 1
- Interview with Alla Kisika – Part 2 (Community Questions)
- Real-Estate Project Visit in Minsk
Here is what I can tell you so far: While he enjoyed interacting with Alla and her coworkers in Grupeer’s office, he wasn’t too happy about her answers in the interview. After watching it, neither was I to be honest.
Here are some of the parts of the first interview that stood out to me:
- Alla Kisika is the owner & operational manager of Grupeer, but her brother Andrey Kisik is the actual CEO of the company and is responsible for the strategic decisions in the company. I find it strange that we’ve never seen him in interviews or office tours.
- 13:43 – Bernhard asked Alla who covers the buyback guarantee in case of default when the loan originator differs from the deal partner. He mentioned loans by Ibancar as an example, with Finsputnik Platforma as loan originator. She responded that Ibancar is responsible for the buyback (already), contrary to what Grupeer recently published on its Blog, where they mentioned that the buyback guarantee is covered by Finsputnik Platforma.
- 18:53 – Alla owns Finsputnik Platforma. She already disclosed Grupeer’s affiliation with Finsputnik and Primo Invest in our interview last year, but it’s still not clear on the website.
- 21:30 – Who is the owner of Primo Invest? She responded that 50% of the company is owned by her, while the other 50% is owned by ‘Harijs’, who deals with development projects, for example in Belarus and Norway. However, when checking Primo Invest SIA on the Latvian company registry, there is no mention of anyone named ‘Harijs’. Instead, half of the company is owned by Agnese Egle (who seems to be his wife?).
- 30:14 According to Alla, Grupeer also has an office and a team working in Ireland, which Bernhard could also visit. I find that a bit hard to believe, since the address (The Black Church St. Mary’s Place, Dublin, D07P4AX) is clearly the address of an Irish company formation service.
To me, especially the first interview showed too much confusion regarding important processes within Grupeer. Who else if not the COO, are we supposed to ask to get the correct answers (using the buyback guarantee as an example)?
Why is Agnese Egle registered as co-owner of Primo Invest and not Harijs, who seems to actually be leading the development projects?
And lastly, why not simply admit that Grupeer’s legal address was changed to Ireland for regulatory reasons? In itself, I think Grupeer openly communicating that wouldn’t be an issue for investors. But pretending like there is an active Grupeer office working there (I’d be happy to be proven wrong!) and saying that Bernhard could come by for a visit, is a bit much for me.
I decided to start moving Grupeer funds to other platforms
While I like the team and Alla has been nothing but kind to me personally, I decided to stop my Auto Invest on March 9th after seeing the interviews and talking to Bernhard, who did the same.
Neither of us feels like the platform or Alla have bad intentions, so we’re not running for the exit. However, we’ll slowly be withdrawing money as interest and principal payments arrive.
In my opinion the platform needs to be managed better and more professionally. The answers are too often unclear, sometimes even different depending on the interview and there needs to be more transparency. Until that changes, I’ve decided that the platform doesn’t fit my personal risk tolerance any more.
I know a lot of people like Grupeer, so your own opinion may differ – and that’s perfectly fine.
- Income (Feb. 2020): 47,41€ (-25€)
- IRR: 12,21%
- Invested since: 03.04.2019
My earnings from Crowdestor decreased last month. Many of my loans don’t pay interest on a monthly basis, which is why the cashflow isn’t as regular as on other platforms.
Nonetheless, I’m confident that sooner or later, my internal rate of return is going to catch up with the average interest rate of the loans I’m invested in.
I added 300€ to my Crowdestor account on February 10th, which I invested into the Consumer Loan Portfolio Acquisition (II) loan, paying 24% interest per year.
Crowdestor is the only business loan platform I trust at the moment.
That of course doesn’t mean that the individual loans themselves don’t carry risks, especially when they come with high interest rates, like the loan I just mentioned.
- Income (Feb. 2020): 18,85€ (+0,11€)
- IRR: 11,92%
- Invested since: 02.10.2019
My IRR for Swaper is getting closer to the interest rate of my loans on the platform, which I’m happy to see. I had no cash drag in February and was fully invested most of the time.
- Income (Feb. 2020): 11,63€ (-5,15€)
- IRR: 9,89%
- Invested since: 11.10.2019
My income from Viainvest decreased in February compared to the month before. As far as I can remember, I wasn’t fully invested in the beginning of the month, plus February was a bit shorter, so that may have been the reason. Either way, I’m expecting to receive higher interest payments in March.
Viainvest looks less exciting at first glance, but I’m very happy with my experience so far on the platform and will increase my deposit here over the coming months.
The platform also recently announced on its blog that it is working on getting an international brokerage firm (IBF) license, which I believe to be a good thing for us investors. Hopefully the interest rates won’t decrease as a result.
- Get a 10€ Bonus after investing 50€ or more on Viainvest by using my link.
- Why I added Viainvest to my P2P Portfolio & My Auto Invest Settings
- Income (Feb. 2020): 33,65€ (-10,31€)
- IRR: 13,90%
- Invested since: 21.11.2019
After my earnings saw a big boost thanks to the 1% cashback I received on Lendermarket after exactly 60 days back in January, I’m very happy with the amount of interest I earned on the platform over the course of February.
- You can also get 1% Cashback on all your investments on Lendermarket after 60 days by using my link here.
- Lendermarket Review: 12% Interest by Creditstar?
- Income (Feb. 2020): 3,16€
- IRR: 13,47%
- Invested since: 03.02.2020
I added EvoEstate to my portfolio on February 3rd, to diversify my P2P investments a bit more into real-estate projects.
I like the idea of having one platform act as a ‘filtered’ aggregator for real-estate projects in the P2P sector, instead of registering for each platform individually. As well as EvoEstate’s transparency, their feedback on specific loans and the skin-in-the-game approach.
Over the course of February, I deposited 630€. I invested my money into these two projects in Spain:
Both projects have a loan duration of 12 months, so I likely won’t have interest payments to report until then.
The 3,16€ I earned so far came from the 0,5% cashback I received on my investments.
- You can get the same 0,5% Cashback on all of your investments for the first 6 months on EvoEstate via this link
- Or a 15€ Bonus after your first investment on EvoEstate when using this link. The choice is yours!
First off, for a bit more context, here is why I decided to leave Monethera and Wisefund on January 15th, 2020.
- Income (Feb. 2020): 16,43€
- Invested since: 16.08.2019
Monethera was one of the reasons why I waited a bit with this monthly update, as I wanted to report on new developments.
The platform announced some banking issues in February, which seem to have been fixed, as payments started being processed again.
I was relieved when my withdrawal request for 201,28€, which I placed on February 15th, arrived on my Revolut bank account yesterday. Many other investors also reported that they received their withdrawals.
The interest payments also only started being added to the accounts a couple of days ago instead of the 1st of the month, and I’m still waiting for a couple of loan repayments. When that money arrives, I will be withdrawing it as well.
It seems like Monethera’s Facebook page is the best place to receive up-to-date information about the platform right now.
Once again, here is why I also decided to leave Wisefund on January 15th.
- Invested since: 21.08.2019
- Fully exited: 11.02.2020
- Total P/L (after Buyback): 59,73€ Loss
In early February, Wisefund reached out to me regarding my early-exit request. They asked me if I wanted to wait for the secondary market or if I still preferred the option of them buying back my loans at their respective discounts (-15-20% usually). I chose the buyback option.
On February 11th, the buyback was confirmed and after withdrawing the money, it was back on my bank account the same day. That means I’ve now officially withdrawn everything from Wisefund.
I paid 166,07€ (~17%) in early-exit fees. If I look at the interest I earned since August and just calculate deposits minus withdrawals, I lost a total of 59,73€. I can live with that.
Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my latest monthly update. Please take care and look after yourself and your loved ones during these times of uncertainty all over the world. This too shall pass!
How do you feel about my decision regarding Grupeer? What impression did you get when watching Bernhard’s videos?
You might find this useful:
- Current P2P Lending Bonus and Cashback Offers (March 2020)
- All You Need to Know About ETFs (My ETF Strategy)
- My Entire Investment Portfolio
- 230.000€ In P2P Lending: Bernhard Hummel’s Portfolio
- How To Track Your Investments In P2P Lending