S4F Thoughts @ Savings4Freedom

Better Than Before – An honest look at my blogger path for financial maturity

www.savingsforfreedom.com

After a long silence, I’m finally back writing and sharing my thoughts with you. Apologies, but the last 5 months have been quite an experience. For all of us…

As you probably remember, at the beginning of the year, I established 4 personal objectives building on top of my positive 2019 P2P lending experience:

  • Objective 1 – Reduce and rebalance my P2P crowdinvesting portfolio
  • Objective 2 – Explore new investment options
  • Objective 3 – Start a new business
  • Objective 4 – Improve the Savings4Freedom blog design, contents quality, and value

Since then, everything changed. P2P platform scams destroyed my portfolio and P2P investment strategy, followed by COVID-19 adding pressure to my professional life. I was only able to work a fraction of the time I would need to execute my vision of what the blog should be… but I realized that this is a work in progress, and I hope you like the direction the blog is moving towards.

N26 The Mobile Bank @ Savings4Freedom

Objective 1 – Reduce and Rebalance

Kuetzal and Envestio are scams… Monethera and Grupeer are also facing judicial initiatives from investors (I joined all of them). Other P2P platforms are full of warning signs… and I’m stuck. The honest assessment is that all these scams did the “reduce and rebalance” of my portfolio even if in the worst possible outcome for me. The reality is painful. I lost all gains since starting my P2P investments and you can see that on my P2P portfolio. My greed destroyed my P2P investment strategy and returns.

I marked my losses and facing these facts, the only answer was to reevaluate all my writings taking into consideration what I experienced. All my mistakes will remain visible for all to see in the old blog, but I simply needed to do something to regain control over what just happened, and the new blog was my answer.

Check 7 Lessons to Protect Yourself From P2P Scams. I know, it’s quite ironic for me to write about the topic, but it’s my simple way to organize notes on what went bad…

Objective 2 – New Investments

COVID-19 was a critical moment for me to invest in some other asset classes. I was able to buy stocks and bonds at a lower cost than what I was expecting when I wrote the objective. I don’t make those visible on the blog for two main reasons:

  • I don’t have the time, for now, to describe as I should why and how I purchased these assets;
  • There is no value on the particular stock or bond, since everything changed in a very short window of time.

However, in the future and when time allows, I will start writing about other investment assets in the blog.

Objective 3 – A New Business

As probably some of you are aware, my wife is a pet-sitter at 4EveryPet.

4EveryPet @ Savings4Freedom

There are no funds, after what happened with my P2P investments, but the goals to build a digital business based on this particular niche market is going forward at baby steps. My family is doing the best to turn this idea into reality as soon as possible.

Objective 4 – A New Blog

I was not happy with my blog. And the feedback from readers was very productive to help me define what the blog should become. This blog works for me as a powerful motivational tool. It keeps me focused to report my findings, share my opinions and results/losses every single month. But the most interesting aspect was the opening of conversations and network opportunities with fellow investors that face the same problems and search for the most reliable solutions.

The overall objectives with the new blog are better design, content quality, and value for readers.

If you want to start exploring, I suggest that you start on My Introduction to P2P Investing. I hope you like and welcome all constructive criticism.

CleanMyMac Gemini CleanMyPC Wallpaper Wizard @ Savings4Freedom

Please feel free to explore the blog, subscribe to the newsletter (if you did it on the old blog, please do it again in the new, for privacy reasons), and share your opinion with me on the results either on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram or WhatsApp.

To a new beginning!

Envestio Scam

Kuetzal is a Scam. Envestio is Gone… What to do?

Last Monday I traveled to London for a conference… and Jesus! What a hell is happening in the Baltics?

Simple to explain:

  • Criminal Activity…
  • Bad Management;
  • Bad Business Model;
  • Buyback run by investors… PUM!!!

So, Kuetzal is a criminal scam. Pressure built around Envestio and now the platform is gone. All other platforms that follow a similar business model are currently under pressure. Monethera and Wisefund decided to temporarily cancel buyback options to calm down investors… but questions arise from everywhere and everyone knows what will happen, as soon people can take their money out.

Find out more about Envestio destruction process:

Lukas from Finance Freedom blog

Radoslav Gatev from GatevNotes blog

What should you do now?

Step 1 – Collect Evidence

We need to prove to authorities that this is a crime, not an investment that went wrong. Collect any element you are able to demonstrate criminal activity.

  • Information about all your deposits;
  • Bank statements;
  • Loan agreements;
  • Any proof of your account operations…

You can request to add the information here: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1GJEj-2f9ENcMQ__LQpqAkyccKzc-w1_H

Step 2 – Join the Collective Lawsuit

Please add your information details here to join the community efforts to get a proper police investigation.

Join here to be up to date: https://forms.gle/F2Tk8MBaBjiUvAeC9

Step 3 – Contact the Estonian and Latvian Police

Make sure you present a complain to the police authorities with all the information you have available.

Estonia: https://www.politsei.ee/en/submitting-a-crime-report
Email: [email protected]

Latvia: http://www.vp.gov.lv/?id=144&said=144

Also, make sure to join Telegram “EnvestioDiscussion” and FB group named “United Investors of Envestio“. There are a lot of investors out there, just like us and those are the best options to keep informed.

Envestio Scam

Further updates

As more information rises from the ashes, I will be making constant updates to this article.

December @ Savings4Freedom

Savings4Freedom December 2019 Portfolio Update

Happy 2020 @ Savings4Freedom

December 2019: Year in Review, New Goals, and Black Clouds hanging over the P2P Industry

Hi Savings4Freedom friends! Happy 2020!

Nothing better than starting a new year by reviewing the previous one, but I also want to share with you my plans for the future.

What an experience so far! From all the enthusiasm in January 2019 with my initial post to the alarming news by the end of the year (Kuetzal is a SCAM), I learned so much! I´m really happy to have the opportunity to share with you my decisions, successes, and failures. I find this transparency as a brutal call to keep my goals and achieve them. Thank you so much for your support, questions, and suggestions.


Savings4Freedom Results from 2019

Last year key indicators are very positive:

  • From ~200€ in monthly returns by December 2018 to more than 600€ by December 2019. This returns resulted in €1.693,83 (before taxes) in 2018 and €4.918,93 (before taxes) in 2019.

However, the key lesson from 2019 is that P2P returns are not real until they are back into your bank account, from your P2P platform. P2P crowdlending is a high-risk investment and everyone needs to have this message clear in their analysis before investing.


Savings4Freedom Key Goals for 2020

Now I want to share with you my 4 key objectives for 2020:

Objective 1: Reduce and Rebalance my P2P Crowdinvesting Portfolio

During 2019 my main goal was to maximize returns from my P2P investments. This decision drove my actions from P2Consumer crowdlending platforms, such as Mintos, Viventor, Grupeer, FastInvest or Robocash towards P2Business crowdinvestment platforms, such as Monethera, Wisefund, Envestio, Crowdestor, TFGcrowd, or Kuetzal (read the review). This increased the portfolio risk in a significant manner.

The results have been positive, as you can see in the table below:

SAVINGS4FREEDOM Portfolio20182019
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)13.02%14.74%
True Time-Weighted Rate of Return9.32%14.83%

However, since Kuetzal (read the review) is confirmed as a scam, all the positive outlook presented above disappears in one instant. That is one of the potential risks of these types of investments. I want to emphasize to all my friends the same warning.

In light of this reality, I will reduce in half my portfolio and rebalance my P2P investments portfolio in such a manner that I genuinely diversify my crowdlending investment, but at the same time, I gain comparative visibility over the results obtained from my different P2P platform choices on a monthly basis.

The reduction of my P2P portfolio aims towards reducing the risk of my overall investments and my exposure to this particular asset class. Until more information is available, I suggest everyone to wait.

This will be reflected initially in the €2.5K club: I will reduce the exposure I have in some of the P2P platforms I use where I invest more than €2.5K and increase in others where I currently allocate less than €2.5K. I will update this approach based on market conditions or particular industry information. This decision will pressure me to assume higher discipline and control my willingness to invest in higher return/risk platforms.

Two main implications will happen from this process:

a) My monthly returns will drop since I will move funds from P2P platforms with higher interest rates towards others with lower interest rates; but also…
b) I will keep validating the liquidity of my P2P investments, by continuous withdrawal of funds from multiple platforms every single month. This action, if successful, will allow me to keep trust in my P2P investments.

Objective 2: Explore New Investment Options

The key reason why I invest in P2P lending and crowdinvesting is the simplicity of the idea behind this investment model: money + time = interest. Also, it was my personal understanding that with an investment portfolio below €50K, I was not able to obtain true diversification by dividing my savings into other asset classes.

One of my objectives for 2020 is precisely to explore other investment options towards a more balanced and reliable return strategy. This means not only the exploration of the stock market (I’m currently learning how to invest by using eToro €100K virtual portfolio simulator) but also other alternative investments that I will share with you along this year.

Objective 3: Start a New Business

As probably some of you are aware, my wife is a pet-sitter at 4EveryPet.

4EveryPet @ Savings4Freedom

With the funds made available from P2P investment withdrawals, one of my personal goals for the year is to build a digital business based on this particular niche market. This will be a particularly challenging objective, that will demand significant investment and with no promise of actual returns in the short term, but this is a long-term plan. I truly want to kick-off this project and turn it into reality until the end of the year.

Objective 4: Improve the Savings4Freedom Blog Design, Contents Quality, and Value

This last objective results from your direct feedback. I really appreciate all your direct messages, emails, and comments during 2019. I took note of your impressions and ideas on how the blog should improve and I will do my best to deliver.

As stated above, this blog works for me as a powerful motivational tool. It keeps me focused to report my findings, share my opinions and results every single month. But the most interesting aspect was the opening of conversations and network opportunities with fellow investors that face the same problems and search for the most reliable solutions.

Savings4Freedom

These are the key reasons why I will dedicate more time to the blog in 2020.

But, without any further due, let’s check the Savings4Freedom returns!

Continue reading

Savings4Freedom November 2019 Portfolio Update

November 2019: Great Performance, Uncomfortable Surprises & New Challenges

Hi Savings4Freedom friends!

After a fantastic business trip to China last month, I’m back in Europe and ready to share a new monthly update. November 2019 was once more the best performing month for Savings4Freedom, but also a call to action on how to avoid the Chinese P2P collapse story with my own portfolio.

Uncomfortable Surprises

Kuetzal is in trouble due to management changes and multiple reports sharing concerns about the platform internal procedures and questioning the information presented by several borrowers that received loans through the platform.

FastInvest is under pressure to increase transparency & explain some prevalent rumors that are questioning the platform business.

Mintos is facing backlash for successive problems with it’s Loan Originators.

Regulatory Oversight Increases in the UK

The UK just implemented new Peer to Peer lending rules for the market in order to improve regulation over the industry and increase protections of individual investors, after multiple stories of P2P platforms failing to pay lenders back and going out of business.

Going forward, individual investors on will be classified within various categories including:

  • Certified sophisticated investor – no restrictions on how much you can invest – based on past activity.
  • Self-certified sophisticated investor
    • You have made more than one investment in a P2P agreement or portfolio in the past 2 years
    • You work, or have worked in the past 2 years, in a professional capacity relating to finance, resulting in an understanding of P2P
    • You are currently, or have been in the past 2 years, a director of a company with an annual turnover of at least £1 million
    • You are a member of a network or syndicate of business angels and have been so for at least the last 6 months
  • High net worth investor – you earn more than £100,000 per year, or hold net assets of at least £250,000.
  • Restricted investor  – you may invest 10% of your net assets with certain exclusions

Other new rules that impact the platforms include:

  • More explicit requirements to clarify what governance arrangements, systems, and controls platforms need to have in place to support the outcomes they advertise, with a particular focus on credit risk assessment, risk management, and fair valuation practices.
  • Strengthening rules on plans for the wind-down of P2P platforms if they fail.
  • Introducing a requirement that platforms assess investors’ knowledge and experience of P2P investments where no advice has been given to them.
  • Setting out the minimum information that P2P platforms need to provide to investors.
  • Applying the Mortgage and Home Finance Conduct of Business (MCOB) sourcebook and other Handbook requirements to
  • P2P platforms that offer home finance products, where at least one of the investors is not an authorized home finance provider.

What are your thoughts on this approach? Which investor categories do you find yourself? Are you compliant? Let me know!

On the other end, China is ordering the total closure of the industry.

If you didn’t read my description of the rise and fall of the P2P Industry in China, check the story on the image above. In fact, at the end of November China announced that P2P lenders will have two years to exit the industry. Check the Reuters report here. This news is a direct answer from the Chinese central government to avoid new scandals and small savers demands for compensation for the loss of their money in the industry.

Defining plans for 2020

Taking into consideration the Chinese example and taking into analysis my own personal finances reality, I’m currently working on my P2P investment plans for 2020. Some ideas are already in place, others still need additional time to be implemented. As ever, only reality will define the course of the future, but I genuinely believe that if you guide yourself and your actions based on a strong set of P2P lending investment principles, you will be ready to answer any challenges and face any losses on your way.

In any case, I intend to share with you my plans in the December update.

Invest @ Savings4Freedom
Defining your investment principles makes every decision easier

But, without any further due, let’s check the Savings4Freedom returns!

Continue reading

October @ Savings4Freedom

Savings4Freedom October 2019 Portfolio Update

Hi Savings4Freedom friends!

Today I’m writing to you from Hangzhou, in China. I’m representing my company in an international competition and looking for new business opportunities. A beautiful city with more than 1000 years of history.

October was a strange month for Savings4Freedom. Due to personal reasons, I needed to withdraw a significant amount of funds from my portfolio. However, since I was predicting this particular need and kept the necessary funds on iban Wallet, I didn’t suffer any drop in my monthly S4F returns! The reason why I choose iban Wallet was exactly to allow me to have a small interest gain from my savings, but access to my funds immediately, without the need to sell loans or wait for liquidity.

By now, in case you follow the blog, you already know that I decided to set up a group of P2P lending investment principles. They have been crucial in supporting my decisions. Have you found yours? Let me know!

The Failure of P2P Lending Industry in China

Being in China, I decided to explore the reasons why, back in 2018, the local peer to peer industry collapsed, with significant losses to investors.

The Ezubao Scandal

Back in 2016, Ezubao one of the top 10 largest P2P lending platforms in China at the time, has been shut down and 21 executives have been arrested. Even though Ezubao only launched in July 2014, it quickly grew to attract hundreds of thousands of investors with promises of 9-15% returns.

The scale of the fraud was breathtaking. Around 900,000 individual investors have collectively been bilked out of US$7.6 billion, according to Chinese officials, in one of the largest Ponzi schemes ever conceived. It has been reported that an estimated 95% of all borrower listings on Ezubao were fraudulent. Meanwhile, the top executives used investor money to enrich themselves – spending on items and gifts including real estate, cars, and luxury goods.

From 2016 to 2018… More and more platforms…

But the industry rationalized this away as just one bad apple. The regulators announced new rules for the industry at the beginning of 2016 and there was a sense that the strong platforms would adapt and continue to perform well. And that is what happened for the next year or so. But by 2018 serious problems began to emerge. That year ended up being the year of reckoning for the industry.

The p2p lending industry had grown to around 4,000 platforms at its height which everyone agreed was not a sustainable number. The weak platforms were not going to make it but the trouble was as they failed they often took investor money with them. While there was definitely some fraud there were also cases of platforms that meant well but were simply unable to make online lending work.

Investors Guarantees and Losses

Many investors had put their life savings into a single P2P lending platform believing that their money was safe. Some platforms said they would guarantee investor principal and others implied they were backed by the government. What these investors did not understand was that once the platform went out of business these guarantees were worth nothing. But they truly believed the platforms should guarantee all these investments.

What Went Wrong?

Peer to peer lending was a failed experiment in China. It became so tainted by fraud and illegal activity that even the well-intentioned platforms have struggled.

When sourcing for responsibilities, the reason seems to go to a failure of the regulatory system. In 2013 the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) had identified many of the problems with P2P lending but did not do anything about it until it was too late. The reality is that it is really difficult to underwrite loans well. You need a lot of expertise, particularly when it comes to risk management, and only a small number of platforms fully realized this.

There was no signal of how trustworthy a platform was except for size and time on the market. So, there was a mad rush to grow very big, very quickly and there was little incentive to be a good actor. Many platforms that actually had effective risk management in place were overtaken (in size at least) by these young upstarts. It was a house of cards and in hindsight, it was no surprise that it all came crashing down.

What can we learn from it?

We need to actively ensure that the same mistakes don’t repeat themselves in Europe. It is our responsibility, as investors, to ensure we do proper due diligence and request greater transparency from the P2P industry. In a different approach, we need to push from decisive action from the regulatory bodies to establish a clear investor protection standard.

I truly want to see the P2P industry growth, but I believe everyone that reads the blog needs to be informed and consciously of the risks. Let’s learn from the Chinese experience and avoid painful surprises in the future!

What is your opinion on this subject? How do you plan your investment strategies to avoid too much risk? Let me know in the comments section.

But, without any further due, let’s check Savings4Freedom returns!

Continue reading

September @ Savings4Freedom

Savings4Freedom September 2019 Portfolio Update

Apologies for the late publication, but I took some of the time I dedicate to Savings4Freedom to enjoy time with my family and friends. I’m sure you understand.

September was a very busy month for Savings4Freedom! The learning process since I started my investment portfolio is guiding me towards changing my platform choices. I will share with you all about my decisions on this update.

By now, in case you follow the blog, you already know that I decided to set up a group of P2P lending investment principles. They have been crucial in supporting my decisions. Have you found yours? Let me know!

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject. Do you agree with these principles? I welcome any ideas that can help me improve this list.

Why I’m avoiding Short Term Loans?

Over the past few months, I have been reducing my P2P lending investments on MintosViventor, and Robocash. Some of you contacted me to learn the reason behind my decision to act in this manner, especially when recently I added Mintos among the P2P lending platforms I would select if I started my crowdinvesting portfolio all over again.

Why I'm reducing my consumer P2P lending on Mintos Robocash and Viventor @ Savings4Freedom

The best way to provide a clear answer is to share with you my reflections on the topic. You can read the article by clicking the figure above.

But, without any further due, let’s check Savings4Freedom returns!

Continue reading

Why I'm reducing my consumer P2P lending on Mintos Robocash and Viventor @ Savings4Freedom

Why I’m reducing my P2P lending investments on Mintos, Viventor & Robocash?

Over the past few months, I have been reducing my P2P lending investments on Mintos, Viventor, and Robocash. Some of you contacted me to learn the reason behind my decision to act in this manner, especially when recently I added Mintos among the P2P lending platforms I would select if I started my crowdinvesting portfolio all over again.

The best way to provide a clear answer is to share with you my reflections on the topic.

Investment Rationale: BuyBack Guarantee, Maturity & Type of Loans

One of the elements that I value when investing in P2P lending opportunities is the additional sense of security provided by the buyback guarantee associated with my investments on Mintos, Viventor, and Robocash.

The second element that I considered when evaluating Mintos, Viventor, and Robocash was the opportunity to loan my savings for a very short maturity term: 30 days to 3 months. This allowed me to plan my investments considering the repayment dates to prepare my next decisions.

The last element is the type of loan available, based on the two previous conditions being met on Mintos, Viventor, and Robocash. Typically, when we decide to follow this investment strategy, we are lending our savings to finance microloans, invoice financing loans, personal consumer loans, or short term loans. Typically 30-day deals.

Problems I faced with short term loans?

Now, I just need to explain the investment results that trigger my action:

  • Are the loans being paid on time?
  • When the buyback guarantee is triggered?
  • Does the penalization interest fee pay for the opportunity cost of not investing my savings on loans with longer maturity?
  • Are interest rates aligned with the opportunity cost?

Continue reading

Grupeer Cover @ Savings4Freedom

GRUPEER: 1 Year as Investor

Grupeer @ Savings4Freedom

On August 2019 I realized that I’m investing for 12 months on Grupeer. Being one of my Top 10 P2P CrowdInvesting platforms, I felt this to be the right moment to share my experience and explain why investing in Grupeer offers a consistent source of fixed returns to my portfolio.

Grupeer Platform Quick Review

Grupeer is one of the most stable players in the P2P lending business ecosystem. You can invest in real estate projects and business loans and earn around 13% per year in interest. The minimum investment required is €10 and all loans in Grupeer have a buyback guarantee in case of borrower’s payments is delayed for more than 60 days (if the lender can’t pay, the loan originator company repurchases the debt). 

Available to the public since February 2017, Grupeer works on a business model similar to Mintos: they are a marketplace where loan originators offer their pre-funded loans to investors like me. By doing this, they have more money available to fund new loans so they can leverage their businesses. Making a checkbox on my investment principles, Grupeer only fails one: early exit. I know they are working to have a secondary market available, but until then it is important you know that you cannot cancel or sell your investments once you commit to them.

Nothing wrong with that if you as an investor follow a strategy that does not require quick liquidity on your investment assets. In my particular case, Grupeer is the only platform present on my Top choices that do not provide early exit and even so is among my favorites. It is a great way to invest your money in medium-term loans in a totally automated manner. It could be an ideal starting point for a new P2P lending investor, but it’s all about what works for you!

A key aspect when considering investing in Grupeer is the recurrent cashback campaigns offered from time to time. They can have a significant impact on your portfolio returns if used wisely.

Creating a Grupeer investor account is very straight forward and it’s very easy to invest. The website is very simple and easy to navigate, invest and manage your portfolio. The auto-invest tool makes investing at Grupeer truly passive. 

During the first year, Grupeer provided me with €598.83 in interest for a total investment of €4.043,72. A return of ~13% in 12 months.

Analysis TopicPersonal Take
Type of Loans @ Savings4Freedom

Type of Loans Available

Real Estate | Business
Interest Rate @ Savings4Freedom

Average Interest Rate 

~13%
Buyback guarantee @ Savings4Freedom

Buyback / Secured Loans

Yes
Early Exit @ Savings4Freedom

Early Exit / Secondary Market

No (under development)
Autoinvest Feature @ Savings4Freedom

Auto Invest Feature

Yes
Control over loans @ Savings4Freedom

Control over Loans Invested

Yes, you choose
Money Drag @ Savings4Freedom

Money Drag

No
Hidden Fees @ Savings4Freedom

Hidden Fees

No
Loan Duration @ Savings4Freedom

Loan Duration

3 to 36 months
Report Quality @ Savings4Freedom

Reporting Tool

High Quality
User Experience @ Savings4Freedom

User Experience

High Quality
Sign up bonus @ Savings4Freedom

Sign-up Bonus

In case you employ my referral link to invest in Grupeer you earn 1.25% on all investments over the first 6 months in cashback
Evaluation @ Savings4Freedom

Overall Evaluation

8/10

Continue reading

August 2019 @ Savings4Freedom

Savings4Freedom August 2019 Portfolio Update

August was a crazy month for Savings4Freedom! Everything happened so fast that almost feels like I was writing the July portfolio update yesterday.

The speed of the P2P lending industry is incredible. The amount of information required to access, process and decide over in order to take informed actions grows faster than my capacity to deal with it.

Based on this reality, I decided to set up a group of P2P lending investment principles that will make much easier for me to take action in the future.

My P2P Lending Investment Principles

If I was starting all over again today, I would follow in a religious manner my P2P Lending Investment Principles:

  1. Buyback Guarantee: Only invest in P2P loans that provide Buyback Guarantee (for security reasons);
  2. Minimum Return: Only invest in P2P loans that offer an interest rate above 12% per year (the ROI and Yield need to justify the risk);
  3. Early Exit: The majority of my investments should have available some type of early exit from the P2P loan position (through buyback or secondary market, for liquidity reasons);
  4. Cashback and Bonus Offers: I want to maximize cashback and bonus opportunities to leverage my P2P lending returns (at the end of every platform month overview, I share the cashback and bonus opportunities available in case you use my referral links, that I really appreciate if you do to support this blog).
  5. Diversification: I want to distribute my funds across different types of loans, geographic locations, maturity and mainly P2P platforms (diversity is king).

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject. Do you agree with these principles? I welcome any ideas that can help me improve this list.

How I Would Invest 10K in P2P Lending if I was Starting Today @ Savings4Freedom

I recently published one of the articles that more fun offered me writing it. I was challenged by some Savings4Freedom readers to reflect on what I did wrong and how I would do things differently if I started from scratch investing in P2P lending. It was a really important exercise for me in order to conscientiously realize the progress I have done until now. But the best part was realizing in a positive way that I’m really looking forward to experiencing what the future will bring in my path towards financial freedom.

You can read the article by clicking the figure above.

But, without any further due, let’s check Savings4Freedom returns!

Continue reading

How I Would Invest 10K in P2P Lending if I was Starting Today @ Savings4Freedom

How I Would Invest 10.000€ in P2P Lending if I was Starting Today?

Over the past week, I received a significant number of messages with questions on how to start investing in P2P lending. During the preparation of my replies, I realized that the best way to share my experience and opinion was imagining that I was starting all over again today…

Rules for the Exercise: Amount, Maturity & Moment in History

Let’s define for the purpose of this exercise a budget of 10.000€ for P2P lending investments. Let’s consider a timeline for deploying my investments of 12 months and take into consideration my current knowledge within the European P2P lending industry in August 2019.

Key Questions to Answer

Now, I just need to answer the following questions:

  • Which steps would I follow to invest 10.000€ in P2P lending?
  • Which P2P crowdlending platforms would I choose for my investments today?
  • How would I spread my 10.000€ among my selected P2P platforms?
  • What strategy within a 12 months timeframe would I follow to maximize earnings with the least time effort from my part?
  • And why I took each of these decisions…

Continue reading

iban Wallet @ Savings4Freedom

IBAN WALL: First Impressions & Review

iBAN Logo @ Savings4Freedom

iban Wallet is a fintech startup that follows an asset-backed loan investment model similar to Robocash: black box loan investing. This means that you don’t know the loans that are receiving your investment, you are only able to select the investment tier and duration.

You can invest and earn your interest daily from 2.5% up to 6% per year, being able to deposit and withdraw money daily. The minimum deposit and investment amount required is €1.

Funded in July 2016 in the UK, the company received funding through multiple crowdfunding campaigns that financed the development of the iban Wallet App, launch in March 2019 and the business development to recruiting investors in Europe (mainly from the UK and Spain) and borrowers globally.

iban Accounts do not fall under any government-backed deposit protection schemes (such as the FSCS in the UK) and all investment done is at risk. iban Wallet is not a savings account.

Continue reading

July @ Savings4Freedom

Savings4Freedom July 2019 Portfolio Update

With a small delay, here is our Savings4Freedom monthly update!

I’m really happy with the way my P2P investments are evolving this year. By choosing to invest in P2P lending, every single day I’m confronted with the need to learn new aspects of the industry and improve my processes for efficiency and security.

As I described in my previous update, I’m continuing to shift funds between P2P platforms to diversify and increase my average portfolio interest rate results. In July, I opened accounts in Monethera (very good experience so far) and iban Wallet (a nice complement to my P2P portfolio for money liquidity reasons). You can check my first impressions on both platforms later on this publication.

I also want to share that from now on, I’m sharing with the community my Financial Literacy Video Library to FIRE (financial independence and retiring early). I love to learn and I want to share some of the best videos I found with you.

Loan Originator Issues: Aforti

P2P platforms such as Viventor and Mintos shared this week that one of their Loan Originators (Aforti). One of the risks of investing in P2P lending is the loan originator. You can check the Risks section on this dedicated page to learn more about other aspects to consider before investing.

But, without any further due, let’s see the numbers!

Continue reading

Monethera Cover @ Savings4Freedom

MONETHERA: First Impressions & Review

Monethera @ Savings4Freedom

Monethera is the most recent player to join the P2P business lending ecosystem. You can invest in real estate projects, business loans, green energy, logistics or technology companies and earn up to 22% per year in interest. The minimum deposit is €100 and the minimum investment required is €1.

Available to the public since June 5th, 2019 Monethera presented a fresh website, but to my surprise, initially almost all texts were an exact copy of Envestio website information.

Nothing wrong in following the example of other platforms well-liked among the community. After what I imagine was a lot of angry messages from the community complaining about this fact, the Monethera team quickly updated texts and the information available. I must highlight the capacity to listen that the Monethera team showed since the very first email exchange. It seems that they are available to listen and to implement changes based on actual feedback.

Monethera Platform Quick Review

Monethera offers among the best interest rates in the business with buyback guarantee. If you sign up and invest through my referral link, you will get €5 and 0.5% cashback from all investments you make within the first 90 days. Since I started investing at Monethera in July 2019 I was impressed with the platform, projects, and returns. It is hard to believe that there is a possibility to invest in projects with higher than 20% annual returns and offering a buyback guarantee.

Creating a Monethera investor account only took a few minutes. Registration is extremely simple and the platform is very easy to navigate. Since the number of investors is still growing there is no need to keep money drag. The projects are kept open for a significant period of time, but you receive interest since the moment you invest.

Analysis TopicPersonal Take
Type of Loans @ Savings4Freedom

Type of Loans Available

Real Estate | Business
Interest Rate @ Savings4Freedom

Average Interest Rate

~19%
Buyback guarantee @ Savings4Freedom

Buyback / Secured Loans

Yes
Early Exit @ Savings4Freedom

Early Exit / Secondary Market

Yes (5% fee)
Autoinvest Feature @ Savings4Freedom

Auto Invest Feature

Not available yet
Control over loans @ Savings4Freedom

Control over Loans Invested

Yes, you choose
Money Drag @ Savings4Freedom

Money Drag

No
Hidden Fees @ Savings4Freedom

Hidden Fees

No (5% fee for early exits)
Loan Duration @ Savings4Freedom

Loan Duration

3 months to 1 year
Report Quality @ Savings4Freedom

Reporting Tool

High Quality
User Experience @ Savings4Freedom

User Experience

High Quality
Sign up bonus @ Savings4Freedom

Sign-up Bonus

If you sign up and invest through my referral link, you will get €5 and a 0,5% cashback from all investments you make within the first 90 days
Evaluation @ Savings4Freedom

Overall Evaluation

9/10


Continue reading

June 2019 @ Savings4Freedom

Savings4Freedom June 2019 Portfolio Update

And now is the time for a monthly update!

After the amazing P2P Conference in Riga last month, I revisited my entire investment strategy towards financial freedom. One of the most relevant lessons was to balance correctly the effort and investments made into P2P crowdlending platforms on my overall investment portfolio.

Below I will show how that will reflect for the future.

Savings4Freedom in Portuguese

I’m also very excited to publish the blog in Portuguese! I’m looking forward to your comments and suggestions on how the contents can be improved and how I can share better information in the future.

Understanding P2P Crowdlending

Based on messages from people asking questions about P2P Crowdlending, I decided to create a dedicated page that will be continuously improved based on the best available industry information. The initial information source for it was a White Paper published by Grupeer in the fall of 2018.

P2P Lending Platforms Comparison

I really need to thank all the feedback received over the last month regarding the P2P Lending Platforms comparison. I read all your messages and decided to simplify the way the information is shared. I hope that now it could be easier for you to check the best P2P platforms to invest. Let me know what you think!

N26, Revolut and Transferwise

In order to simplify my investment strategy, I decided to create dedicated accounts to manage my P2P investments. Now I follow the 3 buckets account approach:

  • One bank account for my daily expenses: Revolut;
  • One for my savings and emergency funds: National Traditional Bank;
  • And I just opened an N26 account to manage my P2P Investments.

This approach, combined with the use of Transferwise when I need to exchange currencies is simplifying my life and increasing my visibility over all transactions.

But, without any further due, let’s see the numbers!

Continue reading

P2P Conference @ Savings4Freedom

Conference Report: Summary of the P2P Riga’19 Conference

On Friday the 7th of June, over 240 people among P2P platform representatives, P2P investors, and bloggers came together in Riga for the 1st edition of the European P2P Conference. This P2P Conference was certainly a memorable one! Taking place at the wonderfully unique RISEBA Architecture and Media Center H2O 6, this event brought together people from 24 nations representing the entire community to display just what makes P2P crowdlending so unique – its diversity, its cross-sectoral nature, and its collaborative spirit.

The event, hosting interesting keynote speakers, an array of informative presentations, and topped off with a fun evening and second-day entirely dedicated to networking opportunities.

Continue reading

Portfolio Update: May 2019

5 - May - Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry Hi Savings4Freedom friends! May was a consolidation month, looking to better understand how to manage my P2P investments and maximize their potential. I’m especially proud for finally being able to present you with a dedicated page where I compare the multiple P2P lending platforms I have accounts on. 10 - Evaluation

Compare P2P Lending Platforms

Since the number is growing in a significant way, there is a need to quickly compare and share my honest opinion. Please feel free to offer your input on the comments box or contact me directly. P2P_Conference_Riga2019 I’m really happy to travel this week to Riga to join and meet other P2P crowdfunding enthusiasts for the first European conference. It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn, meet with platform representatives and open a direct dialogue with other investors. But, without any further due, let’s see the numbers!

Continue reading

P2P Conference Riga’19

P2P_Conference_Riga2019
The European P2P investment community is gathering in Riga next June 7-8 to discuss the future of the industry.
You can join the conference buying your ticket here: https://bit.ly/2UtHuUZ
 
This is a great opportunity to learn and meet with leading platforms, investors and experts!
 
#S4F #Savings4Freedom #P2P #Peer2Peer #Investments #Riga

 

Portfolio Update: April 2019

Hi Savings4Freedom friends!

February was a specially painful month for me. The loss of a very important family member is always a defining moment in everyones life… apologies for not publishing last months report. I updated all information on the blog over time, but not a post… thank you for understanding.

Live goes on and here is the April 2019 S4F report.

Continue reading

Investing in Crowdlending: some important notes…

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Hi Savings4Freedom friends!

Some quick notes before you start investing in crowdlending platforms…

When you research a new crowdlending platform, it is not only important to look after the expected return and platform usability… There’s quite a few other, more relevant details to evaluate before investing:

  • How old is the platform?
  • Who is the management team?
  • How do their financial reports look?
  • Is it a single- or multi-loan originator platform? How many loan originators do they have?
  • Do they offer buyback guarantee on your loans?
  • What is the minimum investment in loans?
  • Which loan types do they offer?
  • Do they have autoinvest functionality?
  • Do they accept investors from your country?

For each of the platforms I present on S4F you will find a review in their info pages, based on my experience. It is a mix description based on credibility, size, functionality and support as criteria for the review. I also try to read what is the word on the street from other investors in the personal finance ecosystem.

Please feel free to contact me over email [email protected] and share your opinion, comments or suggestions on the topic above.

If you enjoyed this post, please hit the like button below and/or share it with your friends. Thanks for the support!