I accidentally discovered that it’s been about a year since I started investing in the two Latvian P2P portals – Mintos and Twino. While in the beginning, I was mostly testing them out as a potential alternative to the Estonian Bondora, then a year later the situation has changed – I’ve fully exited Bondora on both my private and business portfolios and Mintos and Twino are steadily trucking on as the 3rd and 4th biggest P2P positions, providing steady interest returns with very little hassle.
- Both Twino and Mintos offer impressive volumes (finishing December with 14mil and 18mil of loans originated, respectively), meaning that for most investors it’s not difficult to employ their money – with reasonable conditions it gets fully invested within an hour.
- Steady communication and development have positioned them both as relative flagships on the Baltic market, inspiring several other followers (I’ve lost count of the amount of buyback based sites that have popped up recently).
- Geographical diversity for loan originators provides an easy chance for investors to reduce risk by investing into loan markets other than their own (through OR I’m heavily invested into the Estonian consumer loan market already).
- Easy-to-use and generally understandable interfaces and reporting systems make keeping track of your investments and changing settings relatively easy (unlike some other sites).
- By far the most liquid part of my P2P investments, making it easy to cash out rather quickly if in need to reinvest somewhere else (so works as a good place to keep your “cash” position).
Reasons to worry:
- Quick development also means effort of keeping track of changes – Mintos has gone through a lot of legal changes (relationships between Mintos and originators have changed) and Twino has gone through a full structural reform (with Finabay renamed to Twino and the structure flipped around).
- Hands-off model also means lack of significant info on the risks of originators and potential losses; this being particularly true for the non-buyback loans which both have started to offer.
- Sometimes problematic unannounced changes, which have got some deserved negative feedback from investors (mostly unannounced and not well communicated interest changes).
- Influx of investor money means reduced returns long-term, with interest rates having averaged lower already within the year (while still remaining relatively high).
Overall I’d say I’m quite pleased with both these picks. In my portfolio they are the closest to a near-cash position that I have, and while I don’t focus on actively increasing the positions, then I add in 50-150 euros monthly, keeping them on track of hitting a combined 10K value within the not too distant future.
I’d definitely like to see how they manage with increased investor demand (since the longer the history the higher the trust, but the more money available the lower the interest rates), and hoping to start see some solid numbers on non-buyback loans (rather much like gambling to pick them up now without any significant recovery history to speak of).