August

Portfolio Update August 2020

Welcome to my first portfolio update. Almost a month late but I made it at least before September ended.

One reason to start this blog was to keep track record of my portfolio! To be honest I was lazy in the last years. I did regular updates only once a year and did not spend time on platforms which ran well.

The last number I had in my mind was from Jan. 2020 around 120k € with 40k on Mintos. I knew I had withdrawn a huge amount, but to my own surprise I dropped even below 100k€.

I will cover platforms I exited in first place. The other will get a separate post.

PlatformIncomeBalance
DoFinance 14,95 € 11.125 €
Iuvo 43,36 € 4.016 €
Bondora 105,95 € 11.387 €
Mintos 276,73 € 28.403 €
Twino 46.43 € 4.543 €
Auxmoney 4,57€ 380 €
Fellow Finance 19,3€ 2.356 €
Finbee 32,2 € 3.183 €
Estateguru 19,2 € 2.029 €
Lenndy 27,3 € 2.917 €
Swaper 83,36 7.660 €
Peerberry 71,02 6.815 €
Sum 744,37€ 84.814 €
Withdraw almost 40% of my P2P assets within the last 9 Months

744,37€ interest for August I can almost pay my rent with P2P income. Which was one of my initial goals.

Why exit on Platforms ?

It is difficult to keep track of more than a dozen portfolios, just like owning too many stocks. My initial reason was diversification and to some extend bonus hopping.

There are platforms like Auxmoney, Finbee, Fellow Finance which I left years ago, however the process is still ongoing and will take many years.

Furthermore platforms which I consider solid but are too time consuming or just to not offer the minimum interest I want. Like Estateguru and Peerbeery.

And some platforms where I just want to get my money out like Do Finance and IUVO.

Fellow Finance:

A solid finish platform, I stopped investing in 2019, I wasn´t happy with the returns and the effort loan search is too much. No Buyback, initial investment about 14.000€. Just running out.

Auxmoney:

Already made a post about my Auxmoney time. Just a few € every month.

Do Finance:

Covered in my first blog post. Still in with 10k € hoping to get them out, somehow. “Buyback” is no Buyback, nothing more to say

Estateguru:

A solid platform, yet stopped investing. Not enough projects for me to invest. I always had the problem that money was lying around. Just as example right now 3 Open Projects.

Finbee:

A solid platform with good returns, though investing took a lot of time, exited since July 2019.

IUVO:

A platform I would not recommend. In general every platform operating on the polish market is problematic. I´ll probably do a separate post on the situation at IUVO.

Peerberry:

Not much to complain about Peerberry. Risk/ Reward does not work for me with new loans from 9% – 10%. If rates are back to 12% I will consider investing again.

So 7 of 12 are out. A good start for a cleanout, my portfolio was a mess. After Marie Kondo left, Bondora, Mintos, Twino, Lenndy and Swaper remain, maybe also Peerberry if interest rates rise again.

Bondora and Mintos are question marks for me. On Bondora I have my doubt´s that positive returns are possible beyond Go&Grow. On Mintos I wouldn´t invest in anything without consulting P2P Explorer Ratings.

Where should the money go ?

With all the withdrawn money, the questions arises “Where shall I invest ?” I will not follow the P2P Crowd and invest in Lendermarket like many P2P blogs. Yes, the 2% Promo is attractive but the last time I made purely promo based investments was Do Finance, which did not work well. I will try out Lendermarket later with a small amount.

Where do you invest money in the current P2P and Stock market situation ?

Have a nice week!

Matt

Offtopic: Short on Tesla

Please note! Without several years experience on the stock market do not touch leveraged Options / Futures.

I have not written about my stock market activities yet and options trading is probably not a good starter. But to the Tesla -20% loss on 08.09.2020 and with my sceptics on the tesla market valuation I wanted to write some thoughts. Especially as Tesla is on a frenzy rise again ;-).

I´ve always been a tesla sceptic. I´ve driven the Model S and the Model 3, great gadgets no doubt, but the valuation and the leadership on CEO level are just ridiculous. However shorting on stocks is difficult, your conclusions can be 100% right, if the timing is wrong you will lose money. Just take Wirecard as an example, the Financial Times first started reporting accounting violations in January 2019. Below is the Wirecard chart from 12.2018 till 05.2020 Even as Insider knowing the system is a 100% fraud it would have been impossible to time the short right.

My Experience

I like to invest in companies where I posses hands on experience. Either by using their products or insights through work / projects. Beside that for me there is nothing better than owning a stake of your employer. I am a long investor in stocks, so I never analysis stocks with the intention to open short position. However sometimes I look at companies where things just don´t add up and I wonder how to take benefit of it. I will not go on details when it comes to Tesla valuation, and I don´t won´t to start a discussion with Tesla believers but to me it´s a car company valued at the price of a technology startup. Let´s just assume the Stock is overpriced, how can the take profit ? Put Options, Knockouts, Certificates, leveraged or not.

I´ve shorted Tesla twice via Put Options, once in 2019 which was a complete disaster, the other time in March 2020 which went well but does not really count because of the corona crisis. Both times it was only gamble money, no big loss in case but it hurt as I had to work a few days for the money.

And how was the outcome ?

All in all it was + – zero after fees. Yet the fees and spreads are horrendous, you have to make at least + 5 – 8% to cover it. The biggest problem is the timing and volatility just like the Wirecard chart the price is a roller coaster. Especially with the CEO Musk and his “might take Tesla private 420$. Funding secured” Tweet.

Have you ever thought about going short on stocks ? How did it work out and which strategy/instruments did you use ?

Learn from my mistakes do not touch shorts. This is an investment advice 😉

Regards Matt

My first time in P2P

My first time in P2P started with a loan 23.04.2010 Auxmoney. At that time no Autoinvest, Go & Grow or Buyback existed. You had to do your own research and risk management. Every project had a detailed description about the loan purpose and Income/Expenses report. Most requests were customer loans which ranged between 2.000 – 10.000€. I preferably invested in loans for education but there was literally everything around, cars, surgery for animals, helicopters, crazy business ideas. Reading the descriptions was entertaining and half of the return ;-).

Auxmoney:

Auxmoney is still around and the biggest German loan plattform which issued 280 Mio € in 2018. Still a joke considering the size of the German market. The usability was unique, because there was no Investment Account to deposit money. If you discovered a project, you had to bid on it and thereafter transfer the money within a 5 days. Hence you had to transfer money for each single investment. On the other hand returns were credited directly on your bank account once a month.

My Experience

My total investment was 9.300€ and I earned 1.639€ in interest. From 59 projects 3 defaulted, 4 recovered sucessfully and 2 are still in recovery. The total ROI is calculated at 4,46%. I was lucky to be one of the early investors and exited the plattform mid of 2013. Fun fact, I still receive regular payments from delayed loans! I doubt that many investors after 2013 made a positiv return.

My first P2P Investment in 2010

No investments since 2013, the last payment was scheduled for 2016 and still monthly repayments

Why did I stop do invest ?

Risk & Reward just did not match for me. The nominal interest was between 9-12% with a high default rate. Isepankur (Bondora) offered between 20-30% at that time.

It took way to much time to set up a loan after the money transfer. Several weeks where you did not gain any interest. Moreover the borrowers always had the option to cancel the project last minute. In that case the whole process had to be returned and your money was just stuck for weeks.

As additional security borrowers could sign a kind of buy back insurance In case of death or unemployment that insure should pay the full principal. Yet as one of the borrowers died Auxmoney refused to pay because there was no heir to claim the insurance. Sounded like a bizarr joke. It took half a year, dozens of emails, I even wrote the ombudsmann of the insurance company, finally Auxmoney paid but only as kindness…

To be honest I don´t know why Auxmoney is still around. From Investor site I doubt it´s possible to make positiv returns after tax.

My takeaway:

Rules can change anytime

Many topics I experienced on Auxmoney remind me of the situation at Mintos, DoFinance etc. today. Constantly changing AGBs, terms of Buyback changes, all this leads to distrust and in the long term will destroy the platform.

Mitigated Risks

Today risks are not that obvious and often mitigated. We have Autoinvest, G&G, I&A and of course buyback between us and the borrower. Back then it was all on you, if it goes wrong it was your on fault, no one else to blame. There are few platforms which enforce investments in single projects without ” safety net”. Platforms like Finbee, Estateguru or Lenndy just to name some. I´m quite confident these platform will come out stronger after the crisis.

Have a nice day and learn from my mistakes.

Regards Matt

Do Finance Review COVID19

Do Finance has been one of the least-mentioned P2P plattforms in Europe. Yet personally its my biggest pitfall! My initial investment was around 20.000 €, mostly triggered due to the attractive bonus scheme and the good auto investment features.

When the crisis emerged in March, the payouts from Do Finance were frozen for weeks. I was in constant fear of losing all of my money, especially with the frauds of Grupeer, Envestio and Kuetzal coming up.

Who is Do Finance ?

Do Finance is a Latvian P2P Plattform and part of the  Alfa Finance Group. The Plattform was launched in 2018 and loans markets are located in Polen and Indonesia.

COVID19 & Do Finance:

By end oft March disussions in several boards came up, describing delayed payout processing on Do Finance. I had requested a withdrawal on 19.03.2020 which was not processed for 1,5 weeks and I was already a bit nervous. Between 30.03 – 10.04. a series of Webcast were held and Do Finance promised to process payouts in batches.

Back then I had very limited hopes to see my money again, especially with Kuetzal and Envestio around. Nevertheless in April the first batch appeared on my account and 3 more followed till end of May.

Meanwhile Do Finance posted regular updates on their blog https://blog.dofinance.eu/ . However in May and June no new loans were issued in Poland and Indonesia. For me it looked like they are winding down the business.

Although loan issuing in Poland has not been resumed, operations in Indonesia are ramped up again. According to their last update operations will return full in September.

My Experience:

As mentioned my initial investment was around 20k €, meanwhile interest of 2,628.30 was accumulated.

My current portfolio on Dofinance looks like this. I was able to withdraw about the half of my Investments.

As you can see most of my investments are in status closed. This status was introduced after 28.03.2020. These loans have reached the end date, but invested funds are not transferred to your Account. According to the Do Finance FAQ :

The Buyback:

“These loans will be paid by respective borrowers according to their repayment dates or extended according to the loan agreement conditions. Therefore the system treats your investments as active and all investments are still under “My investment” programs.Upon receiving amounts for repaid loans from Loan Originators, DoFinance will increase the Investor’s account “Your Available Funds” by the respective amount. “

Hurrah! What does that mean in reality ? In July I got 585€ back, in August 539€. I can not predict how this goes on but I hope to get out of this without a big minus.

My takeaways:

Buybacks are worthless ( at least the Do Finance definition of it).”

“BuyBack is available to all investments. If loan is delinquent, the loan originator can buy back the loan from the investor by paying back the principal and accrued interest of the delinquent loan.”

Yes, if the loan originator decides not do to so! Then there is no BuyBack. Reminds me a bit of the mintos terms changes which happened recently.

Never consider P2P a passive investment:

Very often I read about P2P as great passive investment to reach financial independence. It´s not! The “invest and forget” features on Do Finance are comfortable but risky because you get out of touch with your portfolio. In the future I will only invest on plattforms, where I´m forced to manage more actively.

Sorry for the bitterness in this articel, the whole story feels for me like rollercoaster. I hope you are not invested in Do Finance.

Anyways learn from my mistakes and save your money ;-).

Regards Matt