Welcome to my July update in which I will give you a bit more of a personal update because my life as a digital nomad has officially started! I’m currently in Saranda, in the south of Albania from where I will give you my usual portfolio update, but I will also share a first glimpse of my nomad journey so far.
Nomad life has started
After living as a Dutch expat in Ireland for over 10 years, I realized that I didn’t want to work until I can retire and do nothing. I wanted to be on the move again and work from wherever I want so I can live the life I want both before and after I reach financial independency. So in July I quit my well-paid job at a global tech company so I could start my life as a digital nomad. After spending some time back home in the Netherlands to prepare everything (and YES, I did get my vaccinations), I arrived at my first destination: Albania.
Of all places, why did you choose Albania? Is there still a war, and is it safe there? What about the mafia? Do they even have proper wifi to be able to work? These are just a few of the responses I got when I told people I would go to Albania and I could probably write an entire article about this, but for now I will try to keep the answer short.
After Croatia and Montenegro, Albania is the next destination to be discovered by European tourists. The country is simply gorgeous, with mountains, amazing pristine beaches, warm and friendly people and a lot of cultural heritage so it has a lot of potential to attract more tourists. The tourist sector is already starting to boom and investments in infrastructure will facilitate a lot more growth. Expats and nomads are also starting to discover the country as it’s super cheap to live here with a quality of life that is beyond people’s expectations. I didn’t even say anything about the weather, but I’m currently in Saranda, which has over 300 sunny days a year.
Apart from all this, I’m also looking through my lens as an investor and entrepreneur, so I wanted to see the opportunities with my own eyes. Is it worth investing in real estate here? Are there any other business opportunities? It could well be the sole subject for another post here later.
My Passive Income in July
I no longer receive that beautiful paycheck every month and although I perceive the freedom I get in return as way more valuable, my financial situation will become a bigger focus than ever before. I need to keep finding new income sources while keeping my costs under control so I can continue to invest in passive income sources.
Luckily I already started my journey towards financial freedom years ago so I already have some capital ‘working for me’. In July my total passive income was €623,94 of which €299,12 came from interest of Peer-to-Peer loans and €324,82 from dividends. This means I’m currently at 41,6% towards my goal of €1500 in monthly passive income.
As you can see below, by continuing to invest every month, my passive income keeps going up as well.
P2P Lending Portfolio
As usual let’s start with my portfolio in P2P lending. In July I invested an additional €750 in P2P loans, apart from reinvesting the interest payments I received. My current P2P portoflio now looks as follows:
At the beginning of July I deposited an additional €500 to my Mintos account and throughout the month I received €116,90 in interest, the most so far this year.
Mintos also came with some good news regarding their plans to become a licensed investment platform as they expect to receive the license by the end of August. I think this is a great milestone for them, but also for the P2P market in general.
Some criticasters are saying that a license doesn’t prevent investors from losing money but I believe they are completely missing their point. Investing always comes with certain risks and you can potentially lose all invested money with any investment, but the point here is that a once completely unregulated market finally starts to become a bit more regulated. This means that Mintos, and any other licensed platform will have to comply with certain requirements regarding transparency, governance and potential conflicts of interest.
The P2P market has shown times and times again how important it is to have transparency and that you need to be able to trust the information provided and have audited income statemens. Just type in the names of Envestio, Kuetzal or Grupeer in Google and you probably get my point.
So is the licensing the solution that will fix the P2P market? Absolutely not, but it’s a first step in the right direction and I’m sure more regulation will follow.
I was also happy to hear that Mintos managed to recover all investors’ funds from Aforti after wrapping up the legal proceedings against the lending company. Although I had no funds invested in Aforti myself, the Aforti case shows to me the dedication and capability of Mintos to enforce legal procedings to help investors get their money back. In this particular case Mintos had suspended Aforti from their marketplace in 2019 and already agreed on a repayment plan with them twice, but in both cases the agreed plan was not honored. By starting the legal action against Aforti, Mintos managed to recover 100% of the funds plus interest payments.
To me this is a great example of how the best P2P platforms distiguish themselves as they have learned from their mistakes and are stepping up with legal proceedings and tighter restriction for loan originators in favor of their investors. Off course a 100% recovery is not possible in all cases as this depends on the financial situation of the lending company, but also on the legislations in the country of the loan originator. This makes me actually think if I should reconsider the list of countries I’m currently investing in.
In July I received €84,94 in interest on EstateGuru. I still only invest manually as I don’t want to invest in all projects. Although the supply of interesting projects at good interest rates is a bit low in my opinion, I still manage to keep my money invested and I’m overall satisfied with the platform.
EstateGuru released their audited annual report for 2020 which shows that they turned around the loss over 2019 into a profit in 2020, despite the challenges they faced with the impact of Covid-19. They initially had to raise interest rates to keep investors interested when the pandemic broke out, but ended the year with a 50% increase of in the amount of loans funded compared to 2019.
EstateGuru also exceded their own expectations when raising new funds in a Seedrs campaign. In an interview CEO Marek Pärtel reveils that they want to use these funds to further expand their business by technological developements, by going after institutional investors and by geographic expansion into my home country, the Netherlands.
In July I received €26,28 in interest on my PeerBerry account.
In my previous update I already shared that PeerBerry had published financial statements of their loan originators, but now PeerBerry has also published their own audited financial report for 2020. It shows a 50% reduction in profit compared to 2019 but when you break down the numbers it’s clear that this is because their costs have gone up. They reported a growth in sales and the gross profit has still gone up significantly. On their website they explain that they have invested significantly in becoming a regulated entity and in improvements of the platform which I believe are both positive developments for the future.
No big news from Viainvest other than that I received €16,04 in interest in July.
P2P bonus offers
Do you want to invest in the P2P platforms that I discussed above? Make sure to check which platforms currently offer a bonus for new signups. You’re not only doing yourself a favor but by using my links you are also supporting my blog so I can continue to create more valuable content.
Stocks & ETFs
In July I received a total of €324,82 in dividend payments from the following stocks and ETFs:
|Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index (ETF)||€1,27|
|iShares EM Dividend UCITS (ETF)||€212,57|
|Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS (ETF)||€5,88|
|Deka DAXplus Maximum Dividend UCITS (ETF)||€40,20|
In July took the opportunity to buy some additional shares of Kellog, Rio Tinto and GlaxoSmithKline as I already wanted to increase my positions in those dividend stocks and I just saw an opportunity to buy them in a small dip.
I don’t do this often as I don’t want to buy too many shares of the same company, so in the coming months I will focus again on buying more of the ETFs I’m already invested in. This way I’m less vulnerable to the performance of individual stocks and with the principle of dollar cost averaging (DCA) I don’t really have to care much about whether the price goes up or down.
I have only just dipped my toes into my new life as a digital nomad so I can only share what I’ve experienced so far. The beginning has been very busy but I’m slowly starting to feel the idea of freedom. I can’t wait to share more of my experience but if you have any specific questions about my investements, my new life as a nomad or about Albania, feel free to ask them in the comments below.
Video of this post
Check out the video version of my July Porfolio Update for some first impressions of Albania and my new life as a digital nomad.