December Portfolio Report: €28,498.28
Hello hello, fellow financial freedom seekers!
In today’s portfolio report I’m going to go over my income from crowd lending and the stock market. In terms of monthly income, this month was my highest earning month for just crowd lending and P2P – I managed to earn €148, which is almost 50% up from what I’ve been receiving the last few months.
Stocks were also performing great – it looks like they’ve been going up and up and I’m starting to wonder if the highly anticipated recession is ever going to come, or if the prices are just going to break new ceilings.
Now, before I go deeper into my portfolio analysis, I wanted to focus on some news that have emerged in the P2P/ Crowd Lending blogging world.
Is Kuetzal A Scam?
Unfortunately a couple of independent bloggers have discovered that there’s a lot of sketchy stuff happening behind the platform Kuetzal. Jorgen from Financially Free and the Explore P2P team have written some pretty thorough and hard hitting articles about Kuetzal that really seem to be pointing to the platform being a total scam. The articles can be found here and here.
The guys have discussed the situation in great detail on their blogs, so if you have any money invested in Kuetzal or are interested in investing with them, read both of these articles first.
Unfortunately, I had increased my portfolio size on the platform just before the news broke. I’ve now accepted that I probably won’t be getting my money back from the platform (which was €700+), but I will see how things unfold and keep you updated.
Kuetzal has a buyback guarantee on their website which states that any investor can withdraw their money back from a project with a 10% penalty fee. Unsurprisingly, myself and many other investors have asked to exercise this function, but there’s been radio silence from Kuetzal’s part. I made my request Christmas Eve (24th December), and so far nothing. I’m waiting to see if I’ll be able to at least withdraw some money that I have on the account once my balance reaches the minimum withdrawal threshold (€15).
This whole shebang has left me questioning the reliability of some other platforms as well. I know that P2P / crowd lending is a risky investment, but with the stock market returning more than 8.5% tax free at the moment, the latter looks pretty tempting in comparison.
I’m still looking to try out new P2P platforms, but I will be investing a lot less money upfront into platforms that haven’t been well established yet. I may also withdraw some money from some of the platforms that I’ve currently invested in to diversify my risk.
Now, with this news out of the way, let’s have a look at how my portfolio performed in December!
Total P2P Income: €148.76
Total Yield (Month To Month): 14.6%
Crowdlending Portfolio Value: €12,581.84
Total Portfolio Value: €28,498.28
Portfolio Performance: Historical View
The income from my P2P portfolio was €148.76 this month, which is +€44.48 higher than last month.
I have increased my portfolio gradually over the last few month, and some interest payments are starting to finally arrive, which has bumped up the income nicely. Some platforms like CrowdEstor, EstateGuru and CrowdEstate have projects which are paid on a quarterly basis (or even as full bullet loans), so the income from these platforms will always vary from month to month.
It’s nice to see that the monthly income from these platforms is slowly climbing up to a sizeable figure that could actually pay for a few monthly expenses. At the moment, if I started to withdraw the monthly income from my accounts, it would pay for my monthly London underground card. Small steps but hey, we’re making progress here!
My crowd lending and stocks portfolio has grown to €28,498.28 which is +€2,935 higher than last month.
I didn’t actually increase my P2P stake by a lot this month: I invested my usual £2k into the S&P500 (tax free ISA), and I moved around some money on the other platforms: I withdrew €500 from Mintos and put it to Swaper instead, bringing my total portfolio value there to €1,000. I also added €100 into my CrowdEstor account, as there were some projects that I was interested in investing in.
Furthermore, I unfortunately put another €200 into Kuetzal right before I read about the bad news surrounding the platform.
Everything seems to be working well on Envestio and the monthly income is on par with the previous months – nothing new to report here really!
Out of the platforms I’ve invested in, Envestio offers the most competitive interest rates. My average interest rates have always between 16-18% and so far I’ve not suffered any losses. If you are looking to add a platform that offers high interest rates into your portfolio, I can thoroughly recommend Envestio.
If you don’t have an account on Envestio yet, you can sign up through my partner link and get €5 + 0,5% cashback bonus on all your investments for the first 270 days. (You will only get this bonus through my link, not on the Envestio website!)
To read a more detailed Envestio review and a full recap of my historical returns on the platform, head over to my Envestio review here.
My monthly income graph from Mintos is pretty on par with what it’s been for the past couple of months: in fact, it was slightly higher last month as some delayed loans were paid back.
In last month’s portfolio report, I mentioned how some loan originators on Mintos were having trouble again. Mintos is one of the biggest and best established P2P lending platforms out there, but this still left a pretty bad taste in my mouth, and I decided to withdraw €500 out of the platform to diversify my stakes in P2P a little bit more (I put it to Swaper instead). There’s still €3,000+ on my Mintos account, but even then, you can expect the monthly returns on my graph to dip a little bit in the next few months.
If you don’t have an account on Mintos yet, you can sign up through my partner link and get 0,5% cashback bonus on all your investments for the first 30 days with the code “CLIY4V”. (You will only get this bonus with my code!)
To read a more detailed Mintos review and a full recap of my historical returns on the platform, head over to my Mintos review here.
The income from Grupeer was €20.41 this month, which is about a 15% yield on my investments.
If you’re debating which platform to go with between these two, I recommend Grupeer – you get a higher interest rate (on average 13% vs 12%), the loans are always paid on time and I prefer the user interface to RoboCash’s.
I mostly invest in loans on Grupeer manually, so I check in a couple of times per month to see if I have enough money on my account to put to work. Other than that, I don’t spend much time on it.
This month, I earned €18.89 on RoboCash, which is a little higher than my average monthly income.
RoboCash is one of my most passive platforms and I rarely check in to do any changes on the account. If you’re looking for a hands-off investment platform, this one is worth checking out.
However, I have to mention that last month there was news that RoboCash has stopped operating in the Philippines. This means that there will be slightly less loans available on the marketplace and I’ve read that some investors have experienced cash drag because of this. Personally, it hasn’t been the case for me.
The monthly income from EstateGuru is back to its average. I have one loan in my EstateGuru portfolio that was over 60+ days late, and I was curious to see if it was going to default.
EstateGuru doesn’t offer a buyback guarantee, but they have a ridiculously low default rate for projects (3.0% when I initially invested). Luckily, the loan didn’t default and was paid with a penalty bonus.
Even though the returns on EstateGuru are low compared to some other platforms here, after over 9 months of using the platform I can thoroughly recommend it. Less profit also means less risk, and sometimes it’s good to balance your portfolio with secured loans that have an actual asset (a property) backing them up.
In the last month, I earned €12.50 from CrowdEstor, which corresponds to roughly 14.7% – the quarterly instalments from some projects have kicked in!
It’s still lower than my expected rate of return (15.4%), but that’s because some investment only start paying after 6 months, as I’ve now found out. I’ll be able to report on the true yield sometime this spring.
As far as projects go, CrowdEstor is my favorite crowd lending platform. They offer competitive interest rates (averaging at 14-15% and going up to 18%), and they are fully transparent with their investors. Before investing into projects, you get access to all the financial information about the company that you’re looking at, and you can also see exactly how your money will be spent.
Lately, they’ve also branched out from the Baltics, which I think is fantastic. A lot of P2P and crowdlending tends to be centered around the Baltics, which is not great if you’re looking to diversify your risk. Some of the latest projects on the platform include projects from the UK, Belgium and Germany. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the platform keeps developing!
Here’s a couple screenshots of interesting projects that will be launched this month, both technically out of the Baltics:
If you want to add some real estate and business projects with a high yield to your portfolio, I can recommend CrowdEstor.
Alright, so. I’m still going to keep Kuetzal on my portfolio list for now, until we know what’s happening with the platform for sure.
Technically, last month I received €5.50 in income on Kuetzal. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the website might be a complete scam. Therefore, I may have just lost all of the money invested into this platform and can’t recommend it to anyone.
I’ve finally received my first interest payment on CrowdEstate, and it’s a whopping €3.78. I should receive another payment this month, so we’ll see if the income graph grows.
CrowdEstate and EstateGuru are in my opinion quite similar – they both operate predominantly in the same markets and pay a similar amount of interest (10-11%). There are some differences in the countries that they operate in – for example, CrowdEstate has a presence in Italy, Georgia and Romania in addition to the Baltics, and EstateGuru operates almost exclusively in the Baltics (and occasionally throws in a few Finnish projects).
However, the main difference is that the loan volume on EstateGuru is a lot higher. At any given time, you’ll at least have a couple of loans available to invest in, whereas on CrowdEstate you’ll have to wait a lot longer to invest your money, if you want to diversify into different projects.
Between these two platforms, I recommend EstateGuru. (You’ll also get a 0,5% bonus for the first 90 days when you sign up which is a plus.) The only scenario where I would recommend CrowdEstate over EstateGuru is if you’re looking to invest in Italian or Romanian properties – you won’t find them on EstateGuru.
Swaper is a new platform in my portfolio, and in December I went ahead and increased my stake in the platform to €1,000 from €500. It took a couple of weeks for me to actually have all of the money invested into loans, and so the monthly income is still low compared to what I’m eventually expecting it to get to.
All loans on Swaper come with a buyback guarantee and the average interest rate on the platform is 12%. After setting up my auto-investment strategy, there wasn’t much else for me to do. So far, everything works well and I like user interface of the platform too. I’ll report back next month to see if my yield has risen.
I’m getting very excited about the income on this blog! In December, I made €216.64, which is really cool. I also had an exceptionally good month on my other blog, where I made over $8,000 last month – all in all, I feel like I’ve been on a massive high for the last few months in terms of blogging and work. I’m definitely not complaining!
If you want to start a blog and track your investments and savings too, head over to my step-by-step tutorial on How To Start A Personal Finance Blog.
If you’re interested in learning in more detail about how to make money blogging, you can check out my income reports on my second blog, The Chic Pursuit, where I do monthly deep dives about how to make money as a blogger.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section and don’t forget to subscribe to the news letter so that you receive monthly updates straight to your inbox.