Currently in the process of selling all of my Bondora investments

Times have been turbulent for Bondora for a while, and as someone who keeps an eye out for all kinds of changes in P2P investing, even I have managed to lose track of what Bondora is attempting to do. A while back I eliminated my private investing portfolio in Bondora, largely due to tax reasons, but I was still rather optimistic about their long term outlook, which meant that I built a company portfolio that I planned to run with a rather conservative strategy as a part of my p2p portfolio.

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To achieve a conservative portfolio I used an API solution that was self built, and picked loans that were only Estonian, and fell into the more conservative segment, focusing on loans up to C credit group. Within a couple of months I managed to build the portfolio up to about 5000 euros, and while the returns were on the lower end of my portfolio due to the changed risk evaluation policies I was OK with this, as I believed in the long term stability of the portfolio.

Then came all the changes. Firstly the DCA, which, while I understand was necessary was a PR disaster, even though we tried to do our best to help information spread through the investing podcast that we run. The final nail in the coffin, however, is turning out to be the thing that a lot of active investors, including myself, predicted would be the biggest issue – API investments cannot compete against portfolio managers, meaning as long as enough people turn on their autobidders being an active investor is close to impossible.

What this means, is that since the middle of October there has been a steep drop-off for loans, and as such, I have not received a single loan through API bids since October the 13th. Asking around, it seems like other investors are in the same boat as well, leaving only two options available. 1) turning on the automatic portfolio manager or 2) actively trading on the secondary market.

Fundamentally, I do not wish to passively invest in Bondora, which means that if I do turn on the autobidder, it will be just with some play money to test it. I’m just so confused at the direction that Bondora is moving towards – why build all the tools necessary for active investing and then actually make active investing impossible?

Unless the plan was to make API bidding viable for the secondary market only (where it seems to be quite successful). In that case, good luck to all the people making great deals on the secondary market, but I feel the amount of money I currently have in Bondora is not worth the effort of building up the level of statistical modelling which would be required for trading well on the secondary market.

Which means, I’ve slowly started to sell off my company portfolio’s loans, and will continue to do so until I manage to sell most of what I can at value, leaving maybe a small amount of money circulating to see what’s happening. Kind of sad, seeing as Bondora was the portal I started with, and I fundamentally liked their business ideas, but I think my investing ideals have just drifted very far apart from what they’re doing now. Lucky for me, though, there are multiple other viable offers on the market, meaning there is no reason for the money to sit idle!

17 thoughts on “Currently in the process of selling all of my Bondora investments

      1. So called conservative strategy with bid size 10€. They say the fundings have increased rapidly and therefore the loans are not going out. They also said that I could try increasing the bid size, which is not how it should work.

        1. There is preference for 1) new investors (up until they get 200 loan pieces) and then 2) for investors with higher bids. With 10 euro bids and conservative strategy you will struggle to get any loans.

  1. Im using BeePlus and for me this API works fine, also in the last weeks and days. Maybe you should check it out before you leave Bondora completly: BeePlus is free and you can choose from a lot of paramaters (Countries, Rating, etc.) for the API to work.

    By the way: Please make Post more often, I really like your blog!

    1. You must have much broader selection criteria if you manage to have no problems. Several people I’ve asked have also had issues getting loans. It’s probably the Estonian-only limit that’s causing issues.

      (I’ve been lazy posting, but I’ll try to get better again 😉 )

  2. I can also confirm that API does not work as it used to.
    Success rate from bids to deals was poor to begin with but now it does not work at all.
    My last loan went out 10th October.

  3. Hi Kristi,

    why would you need separate statistical modelling for SM? Just use API to browse deals with the same parameters you’d be using for Primary market…moreover you’ll get loans with payments history which is by far most effective/useful information you can get about loan 😉

      1. Sure, but there are very often offers on SM with no premium or even discounts – especially those with higher residual principal which Portfolio manager can’t grab.They are easy to find if you can use API. Just wanted to point that things are not that catastrophic if you look around properly 😉

  4. Same problems for me also. I think the main reason why Bondora created the API was luring in venture funds or simply very wealthy private investors.

    Making it nice and easy for retail investors to bid separately from the PM and get better loans was never their intention. The plan was to test the API on us (because we are less likely to sue for large reparations if things go very wrong) and cast us aside once the API is more or less operational.

    I’m also in the process of leaving for better hunting grounds that offer buyback guarantees and better or about the same returns. My Mintos and Twino portfolios are both 100% buyback and their returns are slightly better than Bondora’s conservative PM profile and OmaRaha beats Bondora’s rubbish investment product by a lightyear.

    More people will vote with their money soon enough.

    1. Well, for institutional and larger scale private investors the API is still a fantastic tool on the primary market since you can pick up whole loans before the PM bids get at it.

  5. Actually BeePluss works. Not a lot is going out, but it works. I have had since October 19th 8×10€ investments into Estonian 30%+ loans.

  6. First of all thank you for your posts which I like very much. Keep up sharing your thoughts. There is another strategy possible: using the portfolio manager you can still invest in an active way. I let the investment manager do its work and every now and then I go through the harvest. I then sell whatever I do not like with a small markup. This markup gives me easily an extra return. Even 1% markup on a SM sale one week after initial investment gives you a nice annualized return. Buyers prove to be willing to buy at higher markups. I leave them the fun of investments with expected XIRR figures of hundreds of percents, but uncertain outcomes. It feels like a win-win. This leaves me with the investments I feel comfortable with. Mostly Estonian indeed.

  7. First of all thank you for your posts which I like very much. Keep up sharing your thoughts. There is another strategy possible: with the portfolio manager you can still invest in an active way. I let the investment manager do its work and every now and then I go through the harvest. I then sell whatever I do not like with a small markup. This markup gives me easily an extra return. Even 1% markup on a SM sale one week after the initial investment gives you a nice annualized return. Buyers prove to be willing to buy at even higher markups. I leave them the fun of investments with expected XIRR figures of hundreds of percents, but uncertain outcomes. It feels like a win-win. This leaves me with the investments I feel comfortable with. Mostly Estonian indeed.

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