Mintos 10K earned

Been a while since an update, and everyone likes round numbers right? My Mintos account just hit 10 000 euros interest + late fees + cashback + secondary market earnings, so a nice milepost to hit.

10kmintos

So, overall, how’s it been? Some highs and lows – no more high value cashback campaigns, then there was an interest rate slump for a while, then a huge spike – could get good quality loan originator loans that were listed at 15% and 16%. Now slowly being pushed back to 12%, so still, you have to keep an eye out on what is happening on the market.

Overall, 3,5 years in, cannot complain about returns. Currently Mintos functions somewhat as a liquidity buffer for my portfolio. Any free money currently not invested sits there, for a while it ballooned to about 50K, currently at 35K and as I have an equity investment coming up, it will drop to about 25K for a while.

More and more originators are joining, but I don’t see all that much reason to diversify that much more. I have 4 somewhat local originators represented which are big and have a solid track record, so I have faith in them not failing. With some loan originators having left from the platform and some issues with Polish originators it seems, there is really no need to go hunting for maybe slightly higher returns with much higher risk. A few more originators I’m willing to invest into, but they haven’t added loans at rates I’d be interested in at the moment. For a while I had about 8 originators represented.

Only downside currently – for a while there was an interest war, where you could pretty much just set an autobidder and sleep, then now the auto invest is somewhat broken due to, what seems to be, overload from the Invest & Access product, so have to spend time manually checking the market for loans every now and then.

Honestly a bit surprised though that the 12%+ interest rates are still going, I would have expected them to drop some more, since Mintos’s history is getting longer and the volumes keep getting bigger, but communication issues are still a thing (the AML issues some users had, somewhat too little detail on the Aforti case,) and since the addition speed of originators seems to be exceeding the amount of money investors can invest, then seems like there will still be good returns to be had.

Mintos update

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update, been a super busy year, but since people occasionally ask – a small update on mu Mintos portfolio.

As for a while I had some cash that I pulled out from other investments, for most of last year I kept my Mintos loan volume rather high, at the end of the year I had a total of 40 000 eurot invested, which produced a solid 400 euros/month of loan interest.

While the summer of 2018 was rather sad in the sense that after mogo buybacks there was a marked loan interest rate drop (many good loan originators dropped down to 10-11%), then I mostly picked short term loans to reinvest the money that was returning from loans, to keep my options open for when I hoped the interest rates would start to climb again.

As it turned out, once autumn hit, loan originators needed more capital again, so both mogo and creditstar started to list 12% loans, I also picked up some 12% banknote loans and a few other originators’ loans.

At the start of the year I needed to move some money to another investment opportunity, so I reduced my outstanding loan volume in Mintos to 25K. It took about 3 days to sell enough loans on the secondary market to cash out 15K, I was pretty impressed with the speed (but I also had good loans to sell, 12% Estonian car loans and other 12% loans from reputable originators.

Currently planning to keep the 25K growing in Mintos, strategy is to still pick up loans from bigger originators, there seems to be enough loan volume for that to not be an issue and expecting a steady 250 euros of interest per month to continue. So, all is boring on the Mintos front :)

Mintos interest rates drop

Funnily enough, the drama of interest rates dropping has happened many many times. For example with Twino this was an issue multiple times – they dropped interest rates and investors walked, then they increased the rates again but didn’t increase it to previous levels, so after a bit of turbulence, the rates ended up being slightly lower, the business was happy that the price of money supply was lower and the investors felt like their complaints were listened to (were they?)

With Mintos, we’re currently going through the interest drop turbulence again (second if not third time? maybe even fourth?). Once again though there is a big amount of investors who are surprised at *how* on earth the interest rates can be dropped, and threatening to walk.

Of course some investors will walk (if they have better options to invest), a very large amount will however be willing to invest at lower rates (as you can see from current statistics that is the case with Mintos).

The answer to the question of how the rates can be dropped is easy – supply and demand – there is a lot of money and not that many loans, meaning even lower rate loans get picked up.

This means that even if the money supply driesĀ up a bit and originators increase the interest rates a bit, then they’ll likely never be as high as they used to be before.

Those who have been investing with Mintos for a while remember that at the start it was easy to have *only* 14% loans in your portfolio, the move to 12% loans has been gradual, and 11% loans have been tested for a while now (in mogo’s case).

Currently the primary market is at about 10-11% (and secondary market is cleared of 12%+ loans) and while the loans are moving slowly, then they are moving – the mogo buybacks have left investors with a lot of cash and the refer-a-friend campaign combined with the activate-automatic-strategy cashback campaign seem to be helping the cash flow.

So as is, investors have three options:

  1. Transfer money out and invest somewhere else (where?)
  2. Yield and invest the money into lower rate loans (to prevent cash drag)
  3. Wait and hope the interest rates bounce back (which they definitely might)

I’m currently a mix of 2-3. I am reinvesting some of the money, mostly picking up discount loans on the secondary market, and some 11,5-12% loans if I seem them on the primary market. I have been lucky though and not had that many mogo loans bought back so far, so I might have enough money locked in until the interest rates bounce back (I might have just jinxed myself and be hit with the next round of buybacks).

All in all – not much new, interest rates get tested all the time in P2P investing, been a while since it has happened on Mintos though but this is something that’s been talked about a long time – there is a serious push for interest rates to be lower (money supply from investors, longer histories for originators), and every now and then something like this is to be expected.

Crowdestate exit

No, nothing is wrong with Crowdestate, the reason why I’m exiting (for now) is that I need to cash out some part of my portfolio for expenses related to my new home. Currently I need to cash out the second 10% for the down payment + something in the range of 20-25K for the kitchen + other furniture. This means that I had to take a long hard look at what is in my portfolio.

The first 10% for the down payment came from the sales of my 12m2 rental apartment – the price was good, I didn’t enjoy dealing with it and I got a very good exit point with good returns. Then I’ve had a year to earn money (the more money I earned, the less I had to take out from my portfolio), but being home with a small baby there’s only so much you can work.

This brought me to having to look over my P2P portfolio. The stocks I own I do not want to touch – even though there are some positions that I could sell with significant profit, then stocks are not a very high part of my portfolio and I’d prefer to reduce my P2P exposure.

Long story short, my top 3 positions are Mintos, Omaraha and Crowdestate. Out of those three Mintos is most flexible so exiting that was not reasonable (if I need more cash suddenly it’s easiest to get it from there). Omaraha I’m exiting naturally since the interest rates are just that low, so you cannot give out loans that would satisfy my expectation. This leaves Crowdestate, which is most open to market risk (in my opinion), and locking in the returns there seemed reasonable.

So for the last three days I’ve been playing around with selling my portfolio on the secondary market. I must say, it’s actually been… surprisingly easy? I was prepared to have some projects that maybe wouldn’t sell all that well or having to wait much longer for sales to happen, but it was surprisingly quick.

I also didn’t get greedy with the pricing – I did have a price offer that gave the person buying the piece a close-to-expected return of the project, and I locked in slightly-above what was expected on almost all the projects. This is reasonable in the sense that as most projects I own have run for a while, there’s enough info to see whether the risk of failure has increased or decreased as time’s gone on.

Currently I only have a handful of projects left, most of them ending very soon, so it was reasonable to wait them out. My new home should be ready in October, and then my finances can balance out again and I’ll be able to see what and how I’ll add back from CE. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of exit (the majority of the pieces were bought by bots though, only a few by hand, so keep that in mind when pricing things).

Mintos portfolio 2,5 years

Since Mintos has once again opened up their refer-a-friend and more people are looking for info on Mintos experiences, then I thought I’d do an update on my Mintos portfolio. For the first two years Mintos was mostly a small part of my P2P investments. Solid, but there were other alternatives I preferred (Omaraha at the time).

As time went on, Omaraha became less attractive due to lower returns and Mintos much more interesting due to cashback being offered. Since I sold my rental apartment and needed an option to invest the money short term, then for the last 6 months Mintos has been the biggest part of my portfolio.

This is the chart of my interest returns across two years – you can clearly see the *bump* from when I added in the money from the sales of the apartment and when I started to trade more actively on the secondary market (cashback being offered also offered bigger volumes for the secondary market).

mintosinterest

This as stated is interest returns – interest + late fees. This chart does not show cashback returns, which aren’t really repeatable at this point – since no campaigns are running, but cashback has effectively helped this year’s Mintos returns hover at about a 20% return. Cashback rewards + secondary market profits together are almost as big combined as all of my interest returns.

Overall, I’d say Mintos has definitely surprised me in a positive way when it comes to their growth rate and the pace at which they add loan originators. While I can’t keep my portfolio at this level for much longer since I need to cash out from some investments, but I feel comfortable having a significant amount of money invested with them.

Overall the only small issues I have with them are 1) it’s still somewhat slow to deposit money (some hassle with them switching providers as well), 2) maybe sometimes slow on updates (such as Eurocent case) and 3) somewhat difficult to assess originators for an investor (I only invest in a handful of the 40) and 4) at times customer service struggles with more complex questions. Most of these are fixable issues though.

Other than that, they’re more transparent than most P2P portals, sharing relevant info (yearly report) which should interest all investors, and as they are profitable I feel that a lot of risks are mitigated by that. No big issues so far over the 2,5 years I’ve invested with them.