Tag Archives: my p2p lending experience

p2p lender Mintos adds foreign currency p2p loans in CZK, PLN, DKK, GEL, RON, GBP

In a brilliant move p2p lending platform Mintos has added the possibility to invest in foreign currency p2p loans across Europe. This means that from now on you can invest in high-netting loans in Czech Koruna, Polish Zloty, Danish Krones, Georgian Laris, Romanian Lei, British Pounds.

In practise this means that you can diversify your p2p investment portfolio not only across different loan types (personal loans, invoice financing, secured car loans, business loans, mortgage loans, …etc) but also across different currencies. And you can do this extremely easily as Mintos has added an instant currency exchange (forex) tool on its website. For very low fees (around 1%) you can instantly exchange your native currency (which is Euro for me) into any of the other currencies on the platform.

In the Mintos loan listing view as seen below you can easily filter the foreign currency p2p loans offered per currency.

p2p lending platform Mintos foreign curreny p2p loans listed

My personal foreign currency p2p loans in Georgian Lari (GEL)

Ever since they started offering these foreign currency p2p loans I have started investing in Georgian, Lari denominated loans. As per the end of March 2017 my Lari p2p investment portfolio consists of 961.71 (Georgian Lari) with a Net Annualised Return expectation of 16.16% something I am really happy about as it is quite a bit higher than the 11.68% return rate my Euro denominated p2p loans investments are netting.

My Georgian Lari foreign currency p2p loans investments portfolio March 2017

I really consider this option to invest in p2p loans across different currencies as a great addition to the great p2p investment platform that Mintos really is.

In the next few months I will keep you posted about the return rate developments with my Georgian lari p2p loan investments.

My p2p Lending Experience: Crosslend 15.59% Return after 8 Months

While researching the p2p lending market I stumbled upon the German based Crosslend platform. They offer p2p loans to borrowers in Spain, the UK, Netherlands and Germany and appear to be a highly ambitious platform with founders that have an extensive background in FinTech.

As they were a relatively new and small p2p lender in the beginning of 2016, that wanted to grow fast, they were offering a 10% bonus for every euro invested up to the 31st of March 2016. This sounded like a great deal to me and so I decided to try it out….

Crosslend p2p lending marketplace team

Europe cross-border lending

Like Mintos and Bondora, Crosslend is a pan-european p2p lending platform that uses market inefficiencies across european countries to create a win-win situation for both borrowers and lenders. As they state on their website:

“It’s our vision to reduce the gap between supply and demand within traditional lending in the European market by connecting borrowers from high-interest-rate countries with investors from low-interest-rate countries through our unique cross-border marketplace lending platform. We’re bridging Europe’s credit divide to create fresh opportunities for people on both sides of the coin.”

This form of interest inequality and arbitrage is one of the reasons p2p lending in Europe has such high potential as opposed to single country p2p lenders in for example the USA or the UK.

Crosslend's current p2p lending markets
Crosslend’s current p2p lending markets

Opening an account with Crosslend (March 2016)

In March 2016 I opened an account by registering on the Crosslend website which was quick and easy.

Crosslend works a little bit different than for example Mintos or Bondora as they have a short video verification process to check your identity. After this is done Crosslend will open an investor account for you with their partner bank, the German biw Bank. This is a real bank account through which you will make all your investments and receive your payouts. It takes a couple of days to get it all set up as the bank needs to send you your account details and login credentials and codes by ordinary post. For me it took about a week to get it all up and running.

Once that was done I could start making my first investments in the loans offered on the Crosslend platform.

How Crosslend borrowing & lending works

On the Crosslend platform potential borrowers can apply for loans from 1,500 to 30,000 Euro for loan terms ranging from 6 to 60 months.

When a loan is granted to a borrower on the Crosslend platform it is purchased and acquired by Luxembourg based Crosslend Securities SA and securitized by a series of ‘notes’. Notes are debt securities which can be purchased by investors each with a denomination of €25 which is the minimum investment per note/loan. When a borrower makes their loan repayments, CrossLend Securities SA makes the corresponding payments of interest and principal pro rata to the holders of the notes and this money is deposited on your biw Bank account.

The Crosslend process matching borrowers and investors to finance loans
The Crosslend process matching borrowers and investors to finance loans

Crosslend’s loans are graded in risk classes A to G, HR.
A graded loans have the lowest risk and lowest interst rates (around 4%) while HR are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum with high risk and high potential interest payouts (around 17%) Crosslend checks submitted proofs of income for all borrowers.

Making my first Crosslend investments

After having finished the registration and verification checks of Crosslend I deposited my first sum of €900 on my account by wiring the money from my Dutch bank account to my Crosslend linked biw Bank acount with a free SEPA bank transfer. It took one day before my money arrived.

Subsequently I started hand-picking loans (or notes as Crosslend calls them) on the website as Crosslend does not have any auto-investment tools. I used the following criteria for my loan choices:

  • Loans from a variety of countries (Spain, UK, Germany, Netherlands) for diversification purposes
  • interest rate above 10%
  • Maximum loan duration of 36 months
    I don’t want to tie up my money for too long hence my aversion for loans of 60 months.
  • Loans among all risk categories from A to HR rated but slanted towards more E, F and HR loan investments

With a €25 minimum investment per loan and a 1% fee charged by Crosslend on origination it means that the minimum cots per loan is €25.25.
My original deposit of €900 allowed me therefore to invest in 39 loans. It took me a couple of weeks to find 39 loans as the amount of loans available was with 48 pieces pretty low. However after logging in multiple times in March each time I found new loans had been added to the platform. After a couple of weeks I managed to find 35 loans that fulfilled my criteria.

Crosslend investment results after 8 months

Now after 8 months my Crosslend dashboard shows the following results:

My Crosslend dashboard account overview (November 2016)
My Crosslend dashboard account overview (November 2016)

As you can see the projected annual return rate of my loans is 15.59% and my initial €900 has grown to €1162.67. It has to be noted that part of my total revenue is the 10% bonus Crosslend awared on investments made in March.

All in all I am happy with the returns so far…let’s hope it keeps on going like this. Will keep you posted!

My P2P Lending Experience: Bondora 20.92% annual return after 10 months

After my first ever p2p lending investment on Mintos (as elaborated here) I started looking for other interesting platforms to try out. On the one hand for diversification reasons and on the other hand to see which of the many available p2p lending marketplaces delivered the best mix of high returns, ease-of-use, passive auto-investment features, transparency, regular reporting,…etc.
Basically the goal was to try to find – by investing in real life – the overall best p2p lending platform. And Bondora was my second pick. 

Bondora p2p lending marketplace

The second marketplace that caught my attention at the beginning of 2016 was Bondora. An Estonian platform that had been around since 2009 who was stirring up the world of p2p lending with its own novel approach delivering unbelievable results.

how-bondora-works

Bondora focuses on unsecured consumer loans with principal amounts of EUR 500 to EUR 10,000 and repayment terms ranging from three to 60 months serving borrowers from Estonia, Finland and Spain. It is open to private investors from Europe and accredited investors from other, non-European countries.
It is noteworthy to mention that Bondora does not provide any form of secured loans (loans backed by a collateral) in the way that Mintos does.

Ever since its emergence in 2009 Bondora claims to have made an impressive annual ROI for its investors of 16.2% !! In fact they claim to be the highest yielding p2p lending platform in the entire world.

On top of that Bondora claims to have the biggest secondary market, to be extremely transparent through their advanced analytics tools while charging no fees for investors.

general-statistics-bondora
Bondora’s impressive general lifetime statistics since its birth in 2009

Click the above picture to enlarge or find the info on Bondora’s website here

Add to these impressive statistics the fact that Bondora is the most licensed platform in Europe – having been authorized in the US by the SEC, in Estonia by the FSA, and in Finland by the RSAA – and it almost sounds too good to be true

Given these claims it was a logical pick for me to try out and see if Bondora could really live up to these stellar numbers in reality for a non-experienced p2p lender.
So I put down some money in a multitude of loans at the start of 2016 and now, after almost one year investing with them, I can say they have performed way beyond my expectations… with an amazing 20,92% annual return as a result.

Here is how it went…

My initial Bondora investment

I created an account on the https://www.bondora.com website on January 4, 2016.

The registration starts by filling in some personal details and an identity verification check is achieved by uploading a copy of your passport or ID. You also have to send a scan of a recent bill addressed to you on your home address to verify that address. All of it was quick and hassle-free.

On my account page I then easily found Bondora’s bank account number where to deposit funds into my Bondora account. For European bank accounts (including Swiss, UK and Norwegian accounts) money can be wired through a free SEPA transfer using Bondora’s IBAN bank account number. Recently Bondora has also added the low-cost option of Transferwise money transfers which work globally.

I wired €1000 to the Bondora account number and the money arrived the next day on my personal Bondora account (January 5, 2016 to be precise). I was notified by email when the money had arrived. 

To start investing I activated Bondora’s Portfolio Manager (PM) in my accounts Dashboard. The portfolio manager is Bondora’s auto-investment manager. At that time, in the beginning of 2016, Bondora’s Portfolio Manager let you choose between three different Risk-Return Strategies: Conservative, Balanced or Progressive. The strategies differ in their respective expected returns and risk (with risk referring to the amount of chance you have to deviate from the predicted returns).

bondora-old-dashboard-early-2016-screenshot-small
Bondora’s old Portfolio Manager and accompanying risk-return strategies

In its simplest form a Conservative strategy means lower risk with lower expected returns up to a Progressive strategy that implies higher risk with potential higher returns. You can see that in the screenshot taken from the portfolio manager at the time.

I activated the Balanced setting on the Portfolio manager and then…well just sat back and waited. Bondora started to invest in p2p loans for me with their investment algorithm. It does so by investing in €5 portions. After a couple of days my entire €1000 euros had been invested in 200 loans of €5 each. The low investment per loans is great as it means a easy way of diversification even with relatively small amounts invested on the platform.

After your first investment you have to wait three months before Bondora can provide you with a Return on Investment percentage as they need to gather enough data to come up with a sensible number. In the meantime they provide you with a daily email update about your incoming and outgoing payments. You can also login anytime in your account and see many detailed statistics about your account.

My net return on Bondora after my first five months using the ‘Balanced’ portfolio manager was hovering around 15%.

Wow…I was very happy.

As I was using their Balanced Risk-Return Strategy in the Portfolio manager with an expected return of 14.85% my portfolio was performing as Bondora had predicted.

I was well impressed. And not only by their returns rates…

Transparent reporting and communication

What I really got  to like about Bondora while using it for some months is its regular reporting and clear communication effort towards its investors.

They provide you with daily email updates regarding the state of your investment portfolio and also twice weekly emails with a diverse amount of highly informative info: from new dashboard features, investment options, platform updates to general p2p lending trends and industry updates. It really keeps you in close touch with your portfolio and the platform. Bondora really makes an effort and provides you with a steady stream of valuable information that made me have an ever growing trust and appreciation for Bondora. 

My Bondora portfolio changes

After some months I slowly started to invest more money and I went  from €5000 invested towards  €10.000 invested at the end of August 2016.

At the same time, as my trust in Bondora had grown, I also changed towards the Progressive Risk-Return Strategy of their Portfolio Manager.

Then mid-summer 2016 Bondora changed their Portfolio Manager (PM) slightly adding an ultra-conservative (lowest risk, lowest return in the PM) and opportunistic (highest risk, potential highest return) option. See the screenshot below.

bondora-new-portfolio-manager
Bondora’s new portfolio manager. Notice the new ultra-conservative and opportunistic investment options

Eventually, in September 2016 I went for the high risk, high potential return ‘Opportunistic strategy’ and that is what I have been using up to now in November 2016. 

Changing from an initial Balanced strategy towards the Progressive and subsequently Opportunistic strategy has served me well as my net return grew substantially….

20.92% return after 10 months investing in Bondora

With the aforementioned settings I managed to achieve a 20.92% net return after 10 months of investing on the Bondora platform. This almost unvelievably high number (especially compared to putting your money on a savings account with a bank) is actully completely in line with the expected return of 21.23% using Bondora’s opportunistic risk-return strategy. See the screen shot from my Bondora profile dashboard below for the details. 

Achieving a 20.92% annual return rate on p2p lending platform Bondora after 10 months

 

You can see from the screenshot above that I made a net profit of €793 euros over those 10 months.

Bondora beating the stock market

A recent comparison of the return rates of Bondora and the stock market in general revealed that Bondora, since its inception in 2009, has been outperforming the stock market. As crazy as it sounds, p2p lender Bondora’s annual return rate was on average 5% higher than the S&P 500 stock market index’s return rate.
It really is a sign that the relative new investment vehicle that is p2p lending is actually a very promising one that is there to stay.

For the entire in depth story check ‘How p2p lender Bondora is outperforming the S&P 500 stock index since 2009

My Bondora verdict after 10 months

Bondora is a great platform that has impressed me in every way. The platform is highly transparent, has a great user interface/dashboard that is very easy to use and full of features, communicates great with its investors and provides quick support if you contact them. Add to that the very high return rates and I feel they are indeed one of the better p2p lending marketplaces out there. At least the best one I have found so far.

I am very satisfied with my investment results after 10 months and hence will keep using the same progressive PM strategy in the near-future. I will regularly post updates of my portfolio performance here to keep you informed.

If you are interested in trying Bondora out for yourself click here and get a €5 free starting sum to kickstart your p2p-lending-life!

Bondora vs. Mintos

My Bondora return of 20.92% is much higher than the 11.28% which I achieved on the Mintos platform (described here). However taking into account that a big part of my Mintos portfolio consists of secured loans with a buyback guarantee (which have lower interest rates, and lower risk on default) this difference fully understandable.
Investing in both platforms is a great idea for diversification reasons and this is what I will keep doing as I think both are great p2p investment platforms each with its own strengths.

If you have any questions regarding my portfolio or investing on the Bondora p2p-lending marketplace post them in the comments and I will reply to them.

My first P2P Lending Experience: 10 Months of Investing in Mintos with a 11.28% return (+ buyback guarantee)

After having been convinced that p2p lending is really the new undiscovered investment tool that it promises to be I decided to give it a shot at the beginning of 2016 which resulted in my first p2p lending experience…

Having done my research for some the last months of 2015 I was ready to make my first p2p lending investments and start the big p2p lending experience experiment.

The very first platform I invested money on was a relative newcomer from Latvia called Mintos. To find out all about My Mintos Investment experience read on…

Why I chose Mintos as my first p2p lending platform

Mintos was founded in january 2015 and quickly gained market traction through their transparent and novelty platform. One of the great features that made Mintos popular was (and is) that they allow you to invest in loans with a buyback guarantee greatly reducing an investor’s risk (more details about this below)

As opposed to many other platforms (who only offer unsecured personal loans) Mintos offers a great diversity of loans: from secured mortgage loans, personal unsecured loans, secured car loans to small business loans.

how-mintos-p2p-lending-marketplace-works

The minimum investment in one loan on Mintos is a mere EUR 10 making it a great starting point for new investors as you can create a nice diversified portfolio with relatively little money.

Both the buyback guarantee option and the low minimum investment of €10 were the reasons why I choose Mintos as my first p2p investment marketplace.

And I was definitely not the only one.

mintos-total-loans-funded-history

As per November 2016 Mintos has 14.870 registered investors which funded an impressive total loan volume of € 83 687 094

Lower your risks with Mintos buyback guarantees

If you are new to p2p lending and investing the buyback guarantees require a little bit more explanation.

Most p2p lending platforms and marketplaces provide unsecured personal or business loans, meaning there is no collateral to back the loan. The platforms use an extensive analysis of each person and business that applies for a loan taking into account many factors the likes of: monthly income, are they homeowners or not, debt history, credit card payment history,….etc. By analysing these factors they create a risk profile and based on that they decide if the applicant gets a loan and for which interest rate. High risk loans offer investors high interest rates but at the same time they have a high chance of defaulting (meaning the borrower doesn’t pay back the loan). As there is no collateral this can mean that an investor loses his invested/lended money. By diversifying your loans over many different loans with varying risks you can lower your risk…and this is what most investors do.

When Mintos entered the market they decided to offer secured loans. Up to that moment this had not been done on a large scale yet in the p2p lending market. And Mintos therefore created a great new addition with these loans.

Buyback guarantee loans will net you, as an investor, less interest than unsecured loans, but it will greatly reduce your risk as Mintos will buyback the loan whenever the borrower defaults on his payment obligations for 60 days or more. In such a situation Mintos will pay you 70% of the original loan contract meaning that the maximum loss you run on such a loan is only 30%. This is a great system that greatly reduces your risk as a lender.

mintos-and-mogo-buyback-guarantee
Mogo is a loan originator on Mintos that offers secured car loans with a buyback guarantee

Currently Mintos pays a maximum of 13.5% interest rates for buyback guarantee loans through Mogo, a secured car loan originator. A great return rate for loans that have very limited risk. They are one of my favourite loans to invest in on Mintos. 

My first P2P Lending experience: a review of 10 months investing on Mintos

In January 2016 I opened an account on Mintos which was a very easy process. I had to fill in my details and upload a piece of ID for identification purposes but within 3 days I had a functional account. I wired €1000 to the account and started my great p2p lending experiment.

As I was new and wanted to limit my risk I started investing in loans with a buyback guarantee in €10 portions to guarantee make my first p2p lending experience devoid of too much risk.

Mintos has an auto-investment tool that allows you to let them do the investments according to criteria you set. It takes away the manual and time consuming task of manually making offers for each and every loan you want to invest in. And it is completely free and easy to use.

I used the following criteria in their auto-investment tool:

  • Must have a buyback guarantee
  • Interest rate between 8 and 20%
  • Loan term from 1 to 120 months
    This means short term loans and long term loans up to 10 years. I did this to include some of  the mortgage loans offered on Mintos which are always long term loans.

And with these settings I hit the ‘save’ button and Mintos started doing the investment work for me.

When I returned to the mintos website a couple of days later my €1000 had been neatly invested in 100 loans and I was eagerly waiting for the first principal and interest payments to roll in. And this is what happened. Slowly small payments were coming in and I was loving it.

It was very exciting to return to my online account on a daily basis and see that I had received another couple of euros.

For the first couple of months I was always hovering around a return on my investment of aournd 10%. “This is great I thought”. And it was compared to my 0.7% interest rate on my Dutch savings account at the Rabobank.

It was a great encouragement and I decided to invest in some more loans on Mintos. I added a couple of thousand or euros more and devised a couple of new auto investment settings in order to try to raise my return. The biggest change I made was that I changed my minimum required interest rate to 12% in the auto investor and left the other settings more or less unchanged.

And it worked.

Slowly my interest rate crept towards, and eventually surpassed, the 11% net annual return rate.

As I got more comfortable with Mintos I also got more comfortable with taking a bit more risk. I started investing in some higher netting loans of around 15% without a buyback guarantee. On the one hand to diversify my portfolio and on the other hand to increase my total net annual return.

And it worked again.

Now after just over 10 months of investing on Mintos my Net Annual Return is a great 11.28% and it is still slowly rising every week due to the repayments of the higher 15% interest loans.

my first p2p lending experience 11.28% after 10 months on Mintos
My personal annual return overview of 11.28% after investing 10 months on Mintos [Click to englarge]
In 10 months time I have made €303.40 interest on an average invested amount of €3228. (For some months I had €5000 invested but I have lowered this amount in order for me to be able to try out a bunch of other p2p lending platforms too). 

I am very happy about this and it has made me very enthusiastic about p2p lending as a savings and investment tool. All in all my first p2p lending experience has been a very positive and encouraging process. 

I will soon write more about some of the unique features that I like about Mintos through an in depth analysis of this great platform.

For more information about p2p lender Mintos have a look here.
For my experiences with high-netting and the 2nd platform I ever invested in called Bondora keep reading here.