My first income update
The time has finally come…for the first update on my investment portfolio and the passive income that I received from it in the month of February 2021. From now on I will give a monthly update on my progression towards financial freedom.
In February I received €275,39 in interest from Peer-to-Peer investments and €78,41 in dividends from stocks and ETFs. With a total passive income of €353,80 I’m currently at 23.6% of my goal to have a monthly passive income of €1500 that I could potentially live off.
P2P Lending Portfolio
I first started investing in Peer-to-Peer loans in December 2019 and I’m currently invested on 6 different platforms. Here is an overview of the current value and monthly income from interest payments in February.
Mintos is a marketplace for lending companies (also called loan originators) and P2P investors. It is the biggest peer-to-peer lending platform in Europe and the first platform I started investing on since I started my journey in P2P investing in December 2019. So with more than a year of experience I can say that I’m overal still very satisfied, despite a challenging year due to corona and some troubled loans in my portfolio.
Looking back at the beginning of 2020 I now realize that I scaled up too quickly, thinking that I found the perfect way to increase my passive income quickly. After lodging my first €5000 and seeing the first interest payments coming in within a few days I quickly deposited another €5000 and within a few months I ended up with €20.000 invested on the platform. Mintos had very positive reviews and I did follow some of the advise from other bloggers with respect to auto-invest settings and carefully selecting loan originators.
When the Corona-crisis broke out, more loans got extended, payments became late and the amount of pending payment grew quickly. A lot of investors in the P2P lending world panicked and started withdrawing money from Mintos and other platforms. I didn’t panic, but I became much more careful and turned off my auto-invest completely. Because the corona crisis was so unprecedented I didn’t really know what would be smart to do and I started withdrawing some of my funds just to be rather safe than sorry. I was surprised how quickly I could do this and within a few months I managed to withdraw €10.000, leaving me with only half my initial investment, plus the interest received thus far. The sentiment started to normalize again and Mintos introduced more transparency regarding the pending payments by separating the funds that are actually in recovery so I felt confident again to continue investing on Mintos again. After making some amendments in the auto-invest settings, I turned it on again.
I ended up with around €2113 of my funds ‘in recovery’ but this amount has not further increased over the last couple of months, which tells me that my current strategy is working fine. I’m confident to continue investing on Mintos and I’m planning to increase my investments again in the future.
EstateGuru is a Peer-to-Peer lending platform for direct investments in real estate. There is no buy-back guarantee, but what I like is that the investments are always backed by the underlying property. Even in cases of defaulted loans, which do happen from time to time, EstateGure has succesfully managed to recover the funds in many cases.
I first started investing in EstateGuru in December 2019, making it my second P2P adventure shortly after joining Mintos. I almost always invest manually, to be able to select the projects that I feel comfortable investing in. I also try to stick to €50 per project to be able to diversify as much as possible, but this also brings me to the downside of the platform: it’s hard to invest large amounts quickly.
After experiencing the first few months I was very satisfied and set myself the goal to increase my investment on EstateGuru to €10.000 but it took until the end of 2020 to be fully invested with that amount. Due to the nature of the loans, which usually pay interest every 3 or 6 months, or sometimes only at the end (after 12 or 18 months) it took a while for the passive income to build up. But now that I’m fully invested I see the income growing faster and with €84,78 in February I’m well on my way to receiving a €100 monthly income from EstateGuru alone.
I first started investing in IUVO Group in March 2020 and so far I’m still happy with the good results I’ve seen.
In January I added €501 to my account as they offered a €15 cash bonus if you deposit >€500, which was paid out in February. So my February income of €46,14 from IUVO Group would have been €31,14 without the bonus.
I first started investing in PeerBerry in February 2019 and have been very happy since the start. I never had any problematic loans because the buyback guarantee always worked well. So why didn’t I add more funds to my PeerBerry account?
Well…last year during the pandemic it almost looked like PeerBerry was the only platform not seeing an increase of late loans, loan extensions or funds in transit or recovery. At least in my experience, everything worked like clockwork once my money was invested. I say, once invested, because that was the main problem. Due to the good results PeerBerry remained very popular while supply of loans decreased, which lead to cash drag: funds remained uninvested.
It seems that PeerBerry keeps a certain amount of loans available for manual investment, so if my auto-invest didn’t pick up enough loans I tried to manually invest whenever I saw some loans available. This is off course not sustainable, but the loan supply increased again and my auto-invest started to pick up loans again. This is why I added €500 to my account in January this year and I’m waiting a bit to see how this works out before I would consider adding more money.
Bondora is one of the oldest platforms in the P2P lending market in Europe. Having survived the previous financial crisis of 2008-2009 I am confident enough to invest in them. I started in early 2020 and I only invest in Bondora Go&Grow, which means I don’t get to invest in loans myself, but I get a fixed annual interest rate of up to 6.75%, which is paid out on a daily basis. So far I really like this simple concept because I don’t have to worry about investing in the wrong loans and with their track record I’m willing to accept the lower interest rate.
In theory you can cash out at any time, which is another advantage. However, when the pandemic broke out last year a lot of people started to panic and wanted to withdraw their funds from Bondora’s Go&Grow fund. To me it made sense that this lead to temporary delays as Bondora can’t simple terminate all their underlying loans to pay out investors. My traditional bank would also be in trouble if all their customers would request a withdrawal of their funds all at once.
Recently Bondora also introduced a maximum of €400 a month for deposits. I believe the same logic applies here so I don’t have a problem with this. Managing and growing a loan portfolio is a very complicated business and they need to make sure to keep the right balance between loan and investor demand in order to be able to pay out the 6.75% interest and also keep some healthy profit margin for themselves.
In February I increased my investments in Bondora Go&Grow with €250 and I’m planning to add more funds in the coming months.
I first started investing in Viainvest in March 2020 with a trial amount of €100 and it was only in August when I increased that amount to €1000 when the panic in the P2P market started to settle down.
What I like about Viainvest is that they are a platform and loan originator since they are owned by the VIA SMS Group. The VIA SMS Group has been operating several lending companies since 2009 and started the Viainvest platform in 2016.
My experience has been good so far and I feel comforable with their long track record in the lending industry and the fact that they have their own skin in the game is a plus for me.
In January I increased my investment with €500 to a total of €1500 but I won’t be increasing my stake much further because in the end, I still see them as one loan originator, so there is not much diversification. We all know what a buyback guarantee is worth, in case the guaranteeing group goes belly up.
Stocks & ETFs
I’m invested in a variety of individual stocks but also have some specific industry ETFs and broader market ETFs in my portfolio.
In February I received €78,41 in dividends from my stocks and ETFs. That’s more than I received in January (€49,35) but still relatively low due to seasonality in payouts and I expect significantly more dividend payments in March.
|AT & T
|SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats (ETF)
I’m still figuring out my own strategy, especially when it comes to building a portfolio for the long-term with enough diversification. That’s why I won’t go into details about my current holdings for now. There is also plenty of information out there on other blogs and Youtube about stock trading, buy-and-hold strategies and individual stock analyses.
That’s it for my February income update. My blog is still brand new, so let me know in the comments what you think and if you have any suggestions for future posts.