Later on I have tested 10-15 platforms. In the beginning it was consumer lending and later I have realised that they are too risky and stuck to only Real Estate platforms. Though to this day I still have positions in Mintos and Bondora.
The main reason I invest in startups if to learn something new from smarter founders and teams and apply that knowledge for my ongoing business.
The side goal is to earn money.
Even though my tickets are very small, I am very happy to be part of something. And especially during the pandemic of Covid-19 I had 3 startups in my portfolio which were helping to fight this public enemy.
I was lucky to exit the stock market and crypto (exited BTC at 6700 euros) before huge drop. I am not selling any of my real estate investments through the platforms. Housers secondary market is dead. EstateGuru secondary market is dead and expensive to trade. EvoEstate secondary market is active as never before, but i am holding my investments. I am checking the markets mainly sp500 and ibex35 daily and even though i do not have any positions I feel frustrated with big swings in the market. On one hand a big recession is coming. On the other hand US announces 1.5T and later 2T money printing – stimulus package. Universal Basic Income may start sooner – US government is thinking of giving 1000 USD for each citizen.
I will be coming back to stock market on March 23 making 0,3% of my net-worth investments weekly. I will be buying
The reason to short (buy put options) Zoom is that i do not know any person paying for paid version. Zoom gives 40 minutes free sessions and then you can just restart a new session – not a big pain to pay for. (more pain to look for your credit card in the pocket). My personal circle uses Google Meet, which comes for free if you are buying Google Suites. The competition is huge. And UX is a fragile competitive advantage that can be copied and made better in days. (example Whereby in my opinion has even better UX)
With global lockdowns the demand for oil plunged. The tankers have been filled soon and there was no place to put oil. USO ETF stopped tracking oil price. And near expiration oil futures started trading at negative 37$. (Lesson about oil futures: if you do not execute contract before expiration – you have to take real oil)
I am starting to write this on March 20, when corona virus pandemic is at the peak in Spain.
During first two weeks of February I am reading a lot of warning on Twitter. Some events are being cancelled in the world already. I urge my wife to stock up some basic food in case of total lockdown.
February 17th to 22d I fly to Riga (with connection in Frankfurt) to Startup Wise Guys graduation and Techchill event. Before leaving I buy 6 FFP3 mascs for my family after I notice Chinese woman in the post office sending big packs of surgical mascs to China. At the moment there are plenty of FFP2 mascs.
March 12th Spanish government announces that country lock-down begins on Monday – March 16th. That nigh, after an argument with my wife, I decide to not take kids to school on Friday. Friday and Saturday we go for walks with kids (skipping the playgrounds and crowded places). The news are worsening every hour. When the kids go for Friday nap, I go shopping. Some sections are already empty and people are buying a lot – i wait 30 minutes in the line. The lock-down begins 2 days earlier on Saturday night. March 18th my wife goes shopping – the shops are full of food, including toilet and hand paper.
What is the life in quarantine?
In general the life did not change much: I work and have meals at home as usual. The good things:
I do Yoga / Stretching daily
I sleep better (Oura ring average sleep and readiness over 90)
Have time to write and read (though i read mostly about covid)
Rethink my life: Set your values, goals and principals (Ray Dalio).
I speak to parents daily
I speak to friends more often – usually about Covid19 and investments.
100 push-ups a day (started April 10th)
The negative things are: I workout less actively. All the day is about satisfying kids, we watch at the screens more.
Number of days sheltering in place: 21 Number of hours at home per day: 23 Number of books read: STILL ZERO!!
I have already had few defaults on EstateGuru and with this post I want to share how the defaults happen and what you can expect. (i have previously shared how Housers manage defaults) The image is my current portfolio stats with the defaults. I have stopped investing in EstateGuru some 6 months ago, as I am currently putting all my Real Estate investments into EvoEstate.
To this date EstateGuru claims they have not lost any principal for the investor. With the rising Real Estate market that was quite easy to sell the defaulted properties for greater value. It is not clear how much does the recuperation of defaulted loans cost for investors. So I give my personal examples:
Tiskre residences development loan II. 12 month loan with LTV 57% and expected 10,5% annual interest. I got €89.79 which comes to 8,98% total return in 820 days and annual REAL return less than 4%
I have other 8 loans that defaulted – on the contrary all those 8 have returned bigger return than expected. (That happens because if the borrower is late – he starts being charged 18% annual interest rate.)
How long does it take to recover defaulted loan?
In my experience usually it is about 1 year, but i have properties that take longer. The thing why this happens in my opinion is that EstateGuru does not want to lose investors principal, so they do not lower the auction start price enough.
The last auction failed due to lack of interested buyers. The new auction will be announced soon with same price.
Now I have new experience – default. Defaults are usual in lending industry. The risks and how they are managed – that is what is interesting in this case: MARISMAS DE ODIEL
535k loan was taken with 11,5% yearly interest rate for period of 6 months on July of 2018. 3,5k of interest was paid.
The interesting part is that Housers asked every investor to vote what to do next.
I like the idea that everybody is allowed to control their fate, but on the other hand, Housers, with 80+ of staff could prepare some analysis and give their opinion on what is better to do.
Another interesting about this Spanish default is that Housers outsource recovery of money for a hefty 12% + VAT fee. (additionaly Housers pays 1.5% from their pocket)
So investors in this project had two options:
A. prolong interest (with lower interest rate!!!)
B. give for management company the right to recover the debt.
Customer support is terrible. 3 emails sent. No reply. Phone call 3 minutes hold – no answer = promise to call me back.
p.s. Housers earned 8.5% on raising this loan.
MEDITERRANEAN HILLS. Project was funded 2018 July 18th for 12 month loan with 8,5% interest. 2020 April 24 the project still does not have a building license. Same situation is with Bond Hills where same developer NOK (run by GARRIGOS ZAMBUDIO ANA BELEN) did not get the license in 2 years to start construction.
BELLEVUE GREEN 2020 April 1st – 2 month notification is given to present new schedule. June 6th nothing happens
HONLY HOTEL. Property funded December 12, 2018 for 12 month loan. It paid interest for 4 months. No more communication from Housers side.
The biggest update of my P2P portfolio is that i am reducing allocations in platforms, as I have started EvoEstate.com – Real Estate only, European p2p aggregator. I am moving my own funds to the company, where I will have greater platform diversification and thus minimise risk and have less paperwork.
All the car rental companies I have used, and I have used 10s of different ones, try to rip off clients. My latest 15 day rent cost me 90€ and I got 3k km. Ford Focus. Even though I checked that I take from one airport and return in another train station I was additionally charged 50€ one way car relocation and 9€ airport fees at the counter. Still good price 140€ for 15 day rental. Also I was offered full insurance, which I did not take, for a whooping 20% of maximum franchise cost – it is worth buying it if I have an accident more than every fifth time during my rental. I believe that upselling the insurance, is the profit margins of insurance companies as many of users do not do the math or don’t have 1.5k at the checkin. When I wanted to extend my rental agreement for 7 days I was offered 290€, that is how I found the Drivy – aka airbnb for cars. The experience was awesome. First I have tested the hybrid car that I wanted to test and second the company is transparent in rental/insurance and that makes them great – no feeling of being ripped off.
Drivy open – is the third thing i like about this company – start renting the car without interaction to a person.