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.


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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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P2P Conference Riga’19

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:
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.

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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!

Portfolio Update: December 2018

©Photo. R.M.N. / R.-G. OjŽda

Hello Savings4Freedom friends!

For the first time I’m sharing my monthly update.

I will try to offer you these updates on the 1st day of every month. The idea is to provide you with a transparent manner to check my monthly returns and the cumulative results of my investments.

Over the next month I will work to improve the blog layout and structure. I welcome any suggestions you may have to enhance how the information is presented. If you are here for the first time, please check out the other pages on the blog and let me know your opinion. Thank you for your support!

Without further due, let’s check the results.

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Telling my story towards financial freedom…

csmboto picture

I’m Carlos, a 33 years old PhD, and startup founder. I live in Portugal with my wife. I always had the mental drive to save money, but never with financial independence in mind. Only at the beginning of 2018, I decided to structure my efforts towards freedom. This blog tells you all about my path, decisions, and mistakes.

I face strong limitations regarding my financial freedom, however, I don’t have any doubt that I will be able to achieve this personal goal of becoming financially free. Anyone can reach financial independence. It’s all about the way you wish to live and the costs necessary to sustain such a living standard.

I learn to save money with my Father. He was a hardworking and honorable man, entirely committed to supporting his family. I saw his effort to support my studies and his energy to provide me the opportunity to fly high without financial concerns. My Father is my hero.

There are many different ways to achieve financial independence, but you always will need to follow these:

  1. Keep a simple lifestyle.
  2. Maximize your income streams.
  3. Save and invest wisely.

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