Portfolio update August 2018

Portfolio P2P investments Envestio FastInvest Swaper Robo.cash Twino Mintos Bondora Crowdestor Crowdestate Grupeer reviews

Hello fellow Financial Freedom and Wealth seekers!

Another month has passed which means it’s time for another monthly update.

I’m trying to get these updates out on the 1st or 2nd of every month. It takes a lot of time to plug all the numbers into the tables and graphs, take new screenshots of all my accounts etc.

I would have posted yesterday but the new WordPress Gutenberg update caused me a lot of headaches! They suddenly removed all table text formatting. WTF?

If you haven’t been here since last month’s update, please check out the other pages on the blog. A lot of changes has been made!

No more talking, let’s get to the numbers.


August 2018

Crowdlending Income Invested Value
Bondora -85,08€ 20.900,00€ 30.267,34€
Crowdestate 16,20€ 7.000,00€ 7.441,63€
Crowdestor 61,43€ 4.000,00€ 4.309,03€
Envestio 126,73€ 9.000,00€ 9.663,02€
FastInvest 54,44€ 4.100,00€ 4.237,24€
Grupeer 27,87€ 2.000,00€ 2.375,88€
Mintos 96,39€ 8.000,00€ 9.076,37€
Robocash 64,91€ 6.000,00€ 6.644,41€
Swaper 110,71€ 9.000,00€ 10.190,45€
Twino 20,99€ 939,39€ 2.258,84€
  494,59€ 70.939,39€ 86.464,21€
       
Real Estate Income Invested Value
First property 660€ 18.080,00€ 22.309,84€
       
Total from investments 1.154,59€ 89.019,39€ 108.774,05€
       
Blog      
Affiliate commission 2.612,15€    
Google Ads -45,06€    
Facebook Ads -148,65€    
Total from blog 2.418,44€    

My comments to the returns

August income was +36,85€ higher than last month. 
I reached 38,49% of my first goal (+1,43% more than last month).

August was a crazy month for blog income. You guys have really been spoiling me. I can’t thank you enough for your support. I honestly never expected to earn any money from blogging!

blog income 2018

The blog returned 2.418,44€ in August.

I don’t expect the blog income to stay this high forever. I mean, I follow some personal finance bloggers that make 50.000€ or even 200.000€ per month (crazy numbers, right?) so it’s definitely possible.

Blog income is great but I wouldn’t feel like I have reached Financial Freedom until my investments hit 3.000€ per month, so that’s what I’m focusing on. I will continue to invest as much as I possibly can and I hope my investments will catch up with the blog income at some point.

High blog income also means that more people invest in crowdlending and I’m exited about that. I’m happy that more people have opened their eyes to these kinds of investments. I truly think crowdlending and real estate are the best ways to invest your money in 2018. 

Bondora

If you are new to the blog, please don’t see my big investment in Bondora as endorsement of the platform. I made a beginners mistake by allocating too much into one platform. They don’t have buyback guarantee and Bondora’s default rate is very high.

As expected, Bondora stayed in negative territory. 242,58€ were recovered from defaulted loans but that was not enough to catch up with the missing principal and interest repayments.

Last time I asked, Bondora they said my portfolio was still performing within the expected range. Mmmm okay… Who would have thought?!

Bondora bad investment
Negative “Net Interest” received…. I’m not exactly pleased with that.
Bondora recovery from defaults
Bondora recovered 242,58€ from defaulted loans in August.

Crowdestate

Crowdestate released 7 new projects in August. That’s pretty good!

Crowdestate projects

Unfortunately however, the interest rates were rather low compared to previous projects. Interest rates ranged from 11-15% and the historic average is 20,98%.

The Steel Express Haldus OÜ project was late on the payment again this month. I received the payment this morning though. I know it’s just a few days but it does make me think twice about the quality of this borrower.

The overall income from Crowdestate is very predictable, it’s easy to spot the pattern in the income graph below. September and October should be higher if the projects repay as planned.

Crowdestate income graph
The income goes up and down because interest accrues differently from project to project. This is expected. In 2020 it will make some really big spikes when some of the development projects finishes.

Crowdestor

This weekend Crowdestor released a long-awaited website update with a new Transactions page. Well, I think it’s released to the public? Gunars from Crowdestor asked if I would help them test it, so he activated the feature on my account. If you don’t see it yet, it will be out very soon.

I have missed a transactions page from day one and it’s great to see they’re improving the platform. An update to the Overview page is up next, I’m looking forward to that as well.

Crowdestor p2p transactions

As you can see on the screenshot above, I received interest payments for the 2 projects I’m invested in according to schedule.

Crowdestor income graph
Income on Crowdestor was really high in May and June because of a short-term loan with a 36% interest rate. Back to normal now with 61,43€ received in August.

A new project was released in August and the funding expires on September 9th. The interest rate offered is 13% and the loan duration is 12 months. The interest rate is too low for my taste, so I will skip this one.

Crowdestor new projects

Envestio

Envestio really impressed me with 8 new project releases in August. If that isn’t impressive enough then pay attention to this: Interest rates ranged from 18-22% !!!

I see that as a clear message to the competition; Envestio is here to stay and it will become one of the major players in the near future. Buyback guarantee and 20% returns is serious business! Other crowdfunding platforms will have to follow troop or see investors walk away to greener pastures.

Envestio projects

I’ll transfer another 4.000€ to my account Envestio account today, bringing my total deposits to 13.000€.

I recently published a review of Envestio , where I traveled to Riga to meet the team behind the platform. If you have not read it yet, you can find it here.

If you sign up and invest through my referral link, you will get a 5€ bonus when you deposit at least 100€. In addition, you will also get a 0,5% cash back on all your investments the first 270 days. That’s 9 full months!

FastInvest

FastInvest continues to deliver and the returns are now slightly above the expected target of 53€ per month.

FastInvest income graph

Some of you have contacted me because you’re concerned with FastInvest. In most cases you have experienced slow response from their support. I’m not sure why their support is below average but it concerns me as well. I hope it’s because they have so many new users that they are understaffed.

Earlier this year, they promised to release a list of their loan originators. This information has not been available since they started. I still haven’t seen this list. Every crowdfunding platform should be as transparent as possible. This is the only way to gain trust from investors!

Personally, I’m not investing more money with FastInvest until these questions are answered. I asked if I could meet them in their office and make a blog post about it, just like I did with Envestio. Dovile replied to me and said it was a great idea and I was very welcome to come and visit. She would also make sure I could meet their CEO Simona for the interview.

September is a very busy month for me, but I hope I’ll be able to meet FastInvest in the fall. 

FastInvest
FastInvest CEO Simona Vaitkune and former Marketing Leader Dovile Zili

This morning I checked Dovile’s Facebook account and apparently she left FastInvest a few days ago. Not exactly a good sign either. 

Dovile left FastInvest
Should I be concerned?

UPDATE: I just heard from FastInvest and other sources as well: Dovile has left to maternity leave. She is expecting a baby girl in a few months!

Grupeer

This platform continues to give good returns. Investing at Grupeer is a very stable experience and all the projects pay on time. I really only have positive things to say about Grupeer.

Grupeer income graph
Grupeer income is exactly as planned.

They recently prepared an update post of Promenada project to show how investments of the investors helped to bring this project to life. 

Grupeer Promenada project update
Click to read the article on Facebook

They also installed an online camera where you can see the building being constructed in real-time. That’s a great way for investors to follow the project they invested in. Very cool and creative thinking Grupeer, well done!

Mintos

Despite the recent interest rate drop on Mintos, I still managed to set a new record with 96,39€ in on month. Interest rates are slowly climbing up again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 13-14% loans again in early 2019.

Robocash

Some cash drag still exist on Robo.cash as well. It’s not as bad as last month though. I’m still happy with my investment here. It’s very “hands off”, you don’t get any closer to passive investing than this.

Swaper

A lot of you have asked me about cash drag on Swaper. It’s very hard to get all your money invested. There’s nothing you can do about it, other than keep your auto-invest enabled and wait for it to grab some loans. Fortunately all investors are treated equally and everyone will get some loans at some point. 

If you invested in Swaper my best advice is: Have patience.

Twino

Not much to report here. I tried to invest in a few loans with currency exposure to get 14% interest (instead of 11%) but the Russian Ruble has not performed well. I’ll probably avoid the currency exposure in the future and take the 11%. I’m not much of a gambler anyways.

I withdrew a large amount from Twino to buy my first rental property. Hence the big drop in January 2018.

Real Estate

My rental property has appliances installed and it’s my responsibility that they work.

One of my tenants called and told me the dishwasher was broken. It would start washing but it never stopped. The machine was about 8 years old so I decided to switch it.

I bought the new dishwasher with transportation, installation and disposal of the old machine included. I’m so happy I went for the “everything included” package. I would have spent hours trying to do it myself and it was surprisingly cheap.

I monitor all expenses on my first property on this page.

The old machine is detached
And the new dishwasher is installed

Savings rate

My savings rate for August ended up at 67,39% (+10,44% compared to last month) which is pretty good. I even spent 148€ on Facebook ads. Had I not done this, the savings rate would have been even higher. 

Average savings rate for 2018 so far is 57,62%. I still have to be extra frugal for the rest of the year to reach my goal of a 60% savings rate for 2018.

Blog statistics August 2018

Another good month in the books on blog growth.

Visitors: 5.962 (+63,34% since last month)
Page views: 24.761 (+65,87% since last month)

355 subscribers (210 WordPress, 145 Sumo) (+113 since last month)

August was the first month where I started advertising on Facebook. It definitely helped bringing more traffic to the blog, but it’s not cheap.

I will keep testing different advertising strategies to see if I can get the message out to my target audience for a reasonable price. 

I’d love to get to 10.000 visitors per month, that would be pretty amazing.

That’s all for August

I have received a lot of mails lately and I truly enjoy the conversations I’m having with all of you. If we haven’t talked yet, don’t be shy if you have any questions or just want to say hi. Hit me with an email on jwolfdk@gmail.com, I’ll be happy to help you 🙂

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

41 Replies to “Portfolio update August 2018”

  1. A big percentage of your investments are on p2p lending and in you rental property. Do you invest all of your money? This are the only investments or do you have some money on long term deposits account? I’m asking this because p2p lending have some risks associated.

    1. Yes, I invest everything I possibly can. These are the only investments I have. I don’t have a long term deposit account. I’m aware of the risks and I feel comfortable with this approach.

      1. Hello Jorgen,

        great blog yours, congratulations!

        Honestly I am really impressed by the fact that you are investing all your savings in such P2P platforms. Some are very attractive, and I love Envestio and Grupeer for instance.
        However great return great risk they say, but how safe are we? What’s behind them? I mean, I think you heard about Ezubau scandal in China. Are we really sure that here we are not financing an other Ponzi scheme. I know you have been visiting Envestio. Did you had the opportunity to have a face to face frank conversation to some of the borrowers?

        Indeed are you aware of any institutional due diligence or financial auditing on P2P lending platforms you (and me) invested in?

        One more: how do you see the fact that majority of the P2P players offering high returns are located in Baltic republics, what’s the reason of this fertility over there? Just tax regime?

        Perhaps a lot of questions, but I would appreciate you can share your view on some.
        Thank you,

        Fabrizio

        1. Hi Fabrizio,

          You raise some valid questions. In every industry you can find dark horses. I do what I can to validate the validity of the companies but it’s impossible to know every detail about what’s going on behind the scenes. The same goes for investing in big companies on the stock market. One bad employee can change the course of a stock in a matter of days.

          In short, I do my due diligence on the companies. If they seem legit I invest and stop worrying. Most of the things we worry about never happen.

          So what are our alternatives? To avoid investing completely is not a path I want to take. And I dislike the stock market entirely and the interest rates on bonds are ridiculous. Crypto currencies are pure speculation at the moment In my world, I really don’t have any other options.

          The fact that most European Crowdlending platforms have headquarters in the Baltics is because regulation is less strict in these countries. I’m glad that the Baltic countries lead the way and try to break the traditional banking paradigm by combining modern technology with the lending business.

          Auditing of P2P lending platforms is a good thing, the auditing and regulations are in place to create the safest environment for borrowers and investors all together. The industry is still relatively new so things can change. However, such changes very rarely work retroactively. I act with the information I have available at the moment and I’m ready to adjust if some unfavorable changes are introduced.

          Best,
          Jørgen

  2. Congrats with the 3K milestone!

    With ‘Affiliate commission’ you mean the commission you get from readers signing up on P2P sites through the URLs on your blog?

    Or do you mean something else?

  3. Thanks for the article Jorgen. I’ll be very interested if Fastinvest really lets you visit their offices (which is both in Harlow and in London-Docklands rental shared office space, as I understand). I’m still not sure if the company really exist. It would be great to have a blogger visiting the company and asking some basic questions.

  4. Impressive indeed!
    If I may ask, what are the main sources by percentage where your readers come from?
    Directl, Google, FB etc.
    Thanks for answering.

  5. Hi Jorgen, very impressive!

    I do not think it’s fair to include your blog-income. This is because the income may not continue to exist. Then it is not true that you have already achieved the first goal

    1. Hi Barry,

      I really appreciate your comment, I have been thinking the same thing. I decided to update the post and the progress bar to only include income from investments. That gives a much better picture of my FIRE progress.

  6. Hello Jorgen, impressive results but just like Barry i think you should not consider the blog income. Keep the imparcial observations about the plataforms, they are really important to us all. My intuition alerts me about FastInvest 🙁
    Thank you very much for everything!
    Best regards

  7. Wow your blog and investments are on the Up! I enjoyed emailing back and fourth with you. Very cool to see your success. I will be in Germany/Italy and Slovenia Starting next Monday! I’ll be reading your blog in my travels.

  8. I think that you should include blog income in the progress bar and monthly updates. It’s correct that you don’t know if that income is going to continue but it’s the same for the other p2p platforms.

    1. Blog income is a lot more volatile than income from the investments so. If I was truly financially independent already, I would have no second thoughts about quitting my day job. That’s not the case currently.

      I will keep posting the blog income numbers and keep you updated in the monthly portfolio updates.

  9. Hi again!

    Great to see the progress, traffic is growing very nicely.
    I’m currently on holiday and unable to spend the time to write my monthly progress report, but I do agree with the approach. If possible should be posted the 1st or 2nd, as readers will we keeping an eye out for it.

    Always nice to have such loyal readers / investors! I also very much like the fact that P2P Lending is becoming more popular each month. It’s really on the rise here in Europe now!

    Anyway – take care!
    Ken

  10. Hi there.
    I would love to see the income in percentage for every month on the different crowdlending platforms. Then it’s much easier to see who are the top performers.
    I love your website, thank you for sharing your journey.
    I also invested most of my money in crowdlending platforms!
    Greetings from Amager:-)
    Lasse

    1. Hi Lasse,

      Welcome to the FinanciallyFree community 🙂

      I’m currently working on showing the current XIRR (internal rate of return) for each platform. Hopefully it will be ready for next month’s portfolio update!

  11. Your progress and blog income amaze me. Awesome growth in visitors even with paid advertising. Maybe I need to monetize as well and start some crowdlending. Those returns are staggering.

  12. Guess I’m not the only, that made a beginners mistake with Bondora. I saw them as a great platform with high interests, but as the competition grows bigger, there’s a lot of better platforms out there.

    I’m also pulling about 1/5 of my investment in Mintos out, as I can find better rates elsewhere. I’m glad to read, that you think the interest rates will rise soon, but don’t you think the platform is getting to big for these rates?

    Frederik

    1. Interest rates will go up and down depending of supply and demand. Even though a lot of investors have joined Mintos there’s still a huge amount of people who want a loan. If loan originators want to get funding for their loans they will have to put an offer on the marketplace which is better than the competition. This could lead to higher interest rates.

  13. Hi Jorgen! I would like to know your comments on taxes? Do you use any accountant service? How P2P income is taxed in Denmark?

  14. Hi Jørgen nice work.

    When are you buying your next property ? when looking at your numbers it look like its the best investment. 2. Have considered making a company when you buy the next one and keep the money in the company for future investments ?

    1. Hi Balder,

      The blog actually turned out to be my best investment. I would like to save up for the next property, but I have decided to invest more money into P2P platforms to have more interesting content for the blog. I’ll buy the second property in 2019 for sure.

      I already created a company for my Real Estate business and the first property is bought through that company.

      1. Hi my friend, what are the advantages of the company? In 2019 im going to buy my first property. I have another one, allready leased but it was an inheritance 😀

        1. With only 1 property there is no difference. But once you own more properties, like Balder said, you pay less taxes if you keep the money within the company. At least in Denmark 🙂

  15. ” I follow some personal finance bloggers that make 50.000€ or even 200.000€ per month” – can you please share a few with us?

    1. Yes sure, I follow makingsenseofcents.com, millennialmoney.com and millennialmoneyman.com. Their website earnings are high because they produce a lot of great content.

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