“Is P2P Lending a good idea to try?” I have been asking myself the question quite some times . I am fairly well versed in other investment areas, but were really looking for some alternative methods. So I decided to try out P2P Lending to draw my own learning and conclusion.
And my vote falls on yes, but let me explain more about that below.

My investment goal

The goal was to find something requiring a minimum of my time, but still creating a favorable return. Secondly I wanted to move into more areas of investment to spread my risk, and assess other opportunities.

To try it out I signed up for a viventor account, which is a based out of Lithuania, and can handle European transactions – and global as well I am sure.

To start out I created an account with 250 Euro on it, which allows me to test various tactics and scenarios. Throughout a series of articles I will show how my investment progresses, and you can read up on the success of my strategies.

For the Record: I have no affiliation or connection to www.Viventor.com my choice was based on simple market research.

What is P2P Lending?

Imagine that one of your friends are in financial trouble and needs to borrow some money. While you probably wouldn’t lend him money on alone, then you would find some friend and divide the risk between you.

The concept of P2P lending is the same, just with a software platform in between which allows borrowers get a loan from multiple lenders in the market. This is, although unorthodox a great concept, because it divides the risk between several borrowers and allows lenders to get access to funds they couldn’t reach before.

The actual act of managing the loans is usually done in a highly automated form, where loans are created and filled with cash from one or more sources. you can even chose to autoinvest, but more about that later in the article.

I have created an account at www.viventor.com which I will use learn and share my experiences.

How do I  get started with P2P Lending?

Getting started on P2P Lending is very easy and can be done following the steps outlined here

1. Selecting a platform

First off you want to select the Lending platform you want to use. There are several out there, but of course some of them are bigger, better and more recognized than others.

Secondly you want to decide based on your demography. The advice is based on the fact that tax rules are very different across the Globe. My base is in Europe, so I have chosen a platform in my region. But there is no reason for not choosing an American. I just didn’t have any insights on the tax rules – and really just wanted to get started.

Investopedia did put together a great list of P2P Lending sites. However if you want European based P2P Lending you should look into Mintos and Viventor.

Creating your Account

Now the exciting part starts – creating your P2P Lending account. Most likely you need to submit some papers for identification as well as protection against money laundering.
The requirements I met were, that I should scan and send two things. First off my ID and secondly a scanned bill proving my residence.

2. Making your deposit

After you have picked a platform it is time to make your first deposit. Since I know little and are here to learn about P2P lending, I decided to just invest 250€. The amount is enough to spread the investment and get a decent return, without running any significant risks in the process.

If you are dealing with an international transaction, you may have to wait some days for the money to appear in your investment portfolio.



Overview of the Viventor interface

Before discussing the actual ivnestments, I want to share and overview of the platform it self. While they differ, then most likely they are the same.

On the UI you see basic information about your account.

First off you see the Outstanding balance. This is the entire amount of cash you have in the deposit. As shown my total amount is 250.13 Euro. The reason is, that I already cashed in on one of my loans.
The loan was just 50 Euros for 14 days, however the payment was late and I receive a small compensation for the delay.

On the Right hand of the UI you see the All Time Transactions. The most interesting numbers are: Rate of Return (XiRR), Interest Received, Late Fee Received and Bonuses.

Below is a series of pie charts, and not all are visible, which shows your loans split in different views. You can see what interest classes, types of loans, provides of loans etc. you are using.

I have included one of my favorite pies here; Loans by Interest.

The reason this one is my favorite is absolutely that it shows what types of loans and interests you are getting from the investment.

On the top there is a menu bar with more entries for investing, transactions and so forth.



Investing on a P2P Lending platform

Your account is in place, you have money in the platform… now it’s time to start the get rich quick scheme…. well not really!

On the Viventor Platform there are two options for investing. There is a DYI or you can setup multiple auto invest routines.

I spent quite some time figuring out my strategy and how to setup my investments based on various elements such as the ones below

  • For how long do I want my money to be locked in the platform?
  • What would be my expected gain?
  • Collateral backed or not?
  • What types of loans?
  • What is my probability of losing out on a loan?

P2P Investing Strategy

 

My approach is to be cautions with my first experiences. I decided to setup the autoinvester to follow these rules

 

  • The loan can only have 1-3 months left until it’s due
  • I will invest in 5 different loans
  • They must have a buy back guarantee associated
  • They are to be 50€ each – giving me 5 investments for diversification
    I don’t mind the loan type, but really never would advise anyone to take on a consumption loan. If I am getting 10+%, the someone else is making money on top of that…
  • I wanted to the Interest to be between 10 and 14%

My reasoning is that I want my money to be liquid. The longest stretch they can be invested is 3-5 years, which would lock my money for quite some time, which I am really not into. Secondly I want different loans to prevent one lender to take me out. And finally buy back guarantee was also a must since I am inexperienced in this field, and though I am investing small, I don’t want to lose my principal.

 

Since I didn’t want to pick the loans on my own, I set up the autoinvest mode – more about that later.

How to setup P2P Auto investing

Next we will focus on how to setup your autoinvesting. On the viventor platform it looks like the picture below.

As can be seen there are a lot of options, but I’ll only address a few of them for now.

Portfolio size

How big is the portfolio you keep investing here, which is the amount money that is avialable for these loans. This means that you can set up multiple auto investors and diversify your portfolio in more ways. For now, since my funds are so small, I am just running with one. However I could see that having a short, long and medium term might be smart, or dividing it in other ways to prevent a large loss.

 Interest Rate

Obviosuly this is a key, as it determines the range of interest you are willing to accept. If aiming too high, you might not lend out, aiming to low you are not maximizing your profits.
On Viventor 14% is max, however I believe other platforms support different ranges. You want to look into that before picking your platform.

 

Viventor autoinvest

Viventor autoinvest

 

 

 

My P2P Lending investments

The following overview shows my current investments, validating the setup of the portfolio.

Overview of Viventor Loans

Overview of Viventor Loans

 

As can be seen in the list, I currently hold 5 loans. The loans are carried by two providers, who are middlemen towards the actual borrower. they are all short term, which means they are to expire within a month and free up my cash for new investments, and keep that liquidity I want, in case I stop reinvesting. The interest is listed as well as amount for each loan. Finally there is a link to the actual contract for the loan, which is automatically generated when the loan is approved.

The best of all is, that I have taken no actions to set this up – all automated.



What ROI can I expect from P2P Lending?

So you first loan is making payments to your account. Depending on how much you have invested, it may be a significant chunk of money coming you way.
An example would be an investment of 1.000$ for a year, where you receive 12% interest. This means that each month you receive 10$ every month. This obviously scales with the size of the investment you are making on the platform.

It will be ientresting to study how large return can be generate consistently with the trading strategy I have put forward. It should return in excess of 10% in returns, with minimal to no interaction on my part.

%

Expected ROI from P2P Lending

Conclusion on P2P Lending

In my opinion it is worth looking into this type of investment. Mainly due to the highly automated nature of these platforms, but also to access a market which traditionally was dominated by banks and credit unions.

As with all investments it is key to understand the risk you take on. My approach is simply to only lend money to guaranteed repayments, basically guaranteeing that nothing is lost. And this is the first rule of business – don’t lose money 🙂

I will keep track of my investment and share frequent updates here on the blog.

Best Regards

Søren

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