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Nickel Steamroller: An Alternative to Lendstats for Lending Club Investors

by Peter Renton on July 16, 2012

My post on Friday about the shut down of Lendstats has generated a lot of comments. I have also had many emails from concerned investors, some who are thinking of no longer investing without access to the kind of information that Lendstats provides.

The good news is that there is an alternative out there, one that has been running for about a year now. It is called NickelSteamroller.com and it provides all the data that Lendstats provided but as of today it is only available for Lending Club investors. Michael, the creator of Nickel Steamroller is also an investor in Prosper and he would love to have a tool for them but he is waiting for Prosper to provide some additional pieces of information in their data download. This should happen in the very near future I have been told.

For now, though, Lending Club investors can switch to Nickel Steamroller and do their analysis there. There is a lot of information on Nickel Steamroller and I encourage you to spend some time exploring the site. The one part I am focusing on today is the Lending Club Return Forecaster which provides the same data as the Lending Club stats page on Lendstats. The implementation is a little different and there are even some additional features.

Introductory Video For NickelSteamroller.com

To show p2p investors how Nickel Steamroller works I have created this short video that shows everyone how to setup the filtering. As an example I use my Lending Club Filter 1 that I defined in my How am I Investing in 2012 post. This video is just for Lending Club investors, when the Prosper data is available I will do another video.

Prosper Investors Should Stay Tuned

I have spoken with Joe Toms, Chief Investment Officer, at Prosper today and he assures me that the data that Michael desires will be available soon. So Prosper investors shouldn’t have long to wait before there is robust analysis on the loan history.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael July 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Peter, thanks for the great video.

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Peter Renton July 17, 2012 at 11:05 am

You’re welcome Michael. Keep up the great work.

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Tim July 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

Peter, thanks for the video. I just wish I had more money in this account to invest.

I do have some newby jitters…wondering what the heck I have gotten myself into!

As I continue to read everything I can get my hands on related to p2p lending, I am finding that it would have probably been better if I had taken it a bit more slowly with buying notes. I currently have 200 notes. I didn’t want a lot of money sitting around doing nothing.

I was a bit more conservative than you in that I tried to stay with 36 month notes and I tried to stay with the better grades at least initially. I stayed away from the state of CA completely. I tried to stay with higher incomes and good work history. I did 0 on public filings and no more than 1 inquiry in the past 6 months. I have 52% in grade “B,” 18% in grade “A,” 17% in grade “C,” 8% in grade “D,” 4% in grade “E” and 1% in grade “F.” When I get some profit under me, I will take a riskier position.

This is a traditional IRA account that I just started about a month ago. At this time, no payments are due until next week. I hope this goes well and I do plan to go for 800 notes (at least). Any advise at this time?

Regards,

Tim Gibson

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Peter Renton July 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

Hi Tim, Welcome and thanks for sharing. I can tell you this – you have far more due diligence than the average investor and more than I did when I started investing. Most new investors tend to be more conservative because there is a lack of trust that these returns really are achievable.

You seems to have a good handle on your loan selections so the only advice I have for you is to temper your expectations. For the next several months you will see a Net Annualized Return figure that will not reflect your long term return. Over the next 12-24 months this number will drop 2-4% so don’t be surprised when you start getting defaults and your returns go down. With this kind of portfolio I would expect return numbers in the 7-8% range long term. If you do decide to get more aggressive you can increase that number albeit with more risk. Best of luck and keep us informed of your progress.

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BNL July 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Peter. I was a little caught off guard when Lendstats went down, and disappointed too, but NSR’s filter looks very promising.

If I sign up for email alerts, dows this mean I will be emailed occasionally on what loans are now In Funding under one of my saved search criteria? That’s a key piece that I didn’t see in the NSR filter that Lendstats did so nicely. It made it very fast and easy to reinvest.

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Peter Renton July 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Yes. If you sign up for email alerts you will receive an email any time there are loans available that meet the criteria in your saved search.

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Danny S July 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I dont use Prosper so it doesnt affect me personally, but I do hope either Nickel or other websites offer similar tools to Prosper investors soon.

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Michael July 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

@Danny S – I have all the code ready to go for Prosper. I just need a few data elements added to their export. I hope to have support for Prosper very soon. I am a Prosper investor myself.

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Bilgefisher July 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

Michael,

I look forward to testing using what you have available for prosper. Take the right steps and your website could be a driving force in the industry. Not many people can say their product is a driving force in a billion dollar industry,

Jason

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Rocco July 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Peter,
Thanks for posting the Introductory Video For NickelSteamroller.com. I’ll need to spend more time poking around on their site. However, at a glance it seems to have similar functionality as Lendstats.
Cheers
Rocco

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Peter Renton July 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

You’re welcome Rocco. I think we are lucky to have an alternative to Lendstats already up an running, at least for Lending Club investors. Hopefully the Prosper stats site is only a short time away as well.

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CA-Lender July 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

What effect do you think will be on Prosper’s July loans number without Lendstats?

Right now, they are at 1552 loans and $11.7M. Looks like they are going to struggle a bit to beat the $13.6M from June (even with the extra day in July). They’ve beaten month over month new loan funded for 22 months. I do think they will end up beating June, (so they can continue the streak) but it’ll probably be very close ($13.7M), and at what expense (extra bonuses)?

A few days ago Prosper offered the “2% bonus promo” for investing in Featured notes, and some/most of the featured notes were C,D,E and HR, which I haven’t seen in months (probably in all of 2012).

Just wonder if this is a coincidence or if lendstats disconnecting his filtering service is having a material affect on Prosper funding new loans.

CA-Lender

PS—For the last 45 days, every note I invested in was from the lendstats site using the top 10 ROI investors, and just investing in notes that they invested in (as well as SNL-10’s notes) so this affected my volume of new investments in June.

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Peter Renton July 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm

That is a good question. I don’t think it is a large number of investors but there are certainly some who rely on Lendstats for investing. But Prosper typically has a surge in the last few days of the month so I still think they will do more than $13.7 million but not much more.

I have spoken with Prosper management and I know they are keen to get an alternative to Lendstats up and running as soon as possible but there was no word of any material impact to their loan volume. With so many other factors in play that would be very difficult to measure.

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Raymond January 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

Lending Club Return Forecaster of NickelSteamroller.com is not good to use. It seems to me that the calculation of return is using the whole loan amount. I think it is not useful for us the lender. I only care about the loan fraction I purchased, no matter its a $20000 loan or $6000 loan. The calculation should assume that each loan have a fixed value, such as $25 for the lender, otherwise, the return rate calculated is not meaningful for us the lender.

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Michael January 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Raymond. I can add a “set all loans” equal check box and scale the loans to 1000 behind the scenes. I’ll update you when this is done. I hope that will help you.

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Michael January 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Raymond, I added a check box to the ROI forecaster to do as you desired. If there is anything else you would like to see, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks.

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Raymond Guo January 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Michael, it’s great that you added the option. Thanks! Could you please allow input of time range on month basis, such as 04/2011 to 04/2012? I am always more interested to check loans in a one-year-range which is 10 months ago to update my loan filters.

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Michael January 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Do you want the day in there too? I think it’s good to add a little more resolution to the vintage ranges, so I am glad you requested it. I can limit it to month and year, or additionally include the day as well. I would argue the day of the month would offer little advantage. Thoughts?

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Michael January 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I added the year and month, I left the day off. However, I want to state for the record that leap years and of the months days are automatically detected. The month is inclusive of the range. I hope this is easy to use, if its not, let me know and I will make the recommended changes.

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Raymond Guo January 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Wooo, your update is so prompt. Appreciated. A question regarding to “Total Amount Funded”. My suggestion is use “Loan Amount” requested instead. The reason is that when I search the loans, Loan Amount is more important, obvious and unchanged data.
Additional filter which I am interest in:
1) “Credit History” which I define as current year – earliest credit line (year).
2) Monthly payment / Monthly income. Do not want it to be too high.
3) Number of days taken to funded the loan. Not sure if the data feed has this piece of data or not. I heard that loans which taked more than 10 days to be funded are more likely default, and I would like to verify that.

By the way, could you share how the default rate and return rate calculated, so I can better understand the result?

Have a great night.

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