When Lendstats went down in July many people reacted by announcing they were going to create their own analysis site for investors of Lending Club and Prosper. Since then I have received more than a dozen emails from people who are working on these new sites. Now, some of them have launched or are in beta phase.
So, I am going to reviewing all these new investor tools. Starting now, every week until hopefully the end of year I am going to publish a review of one of these new sites. Today I am beginning this series by looking at Interest Radar, a site that launched in beta last month.
To use Interest Radar at all you need to register. Right now, while they are in their beta phase this is free. It is a very simple process to signup – you just enter your email address, choose a password and you are in. Before you get going I recommend you read their Quick Start Guide and, of course, continue reading this review.
Here is how Interest Radar describes themselves on their site:
Interest Radar is where serious peer-to-peer investors find all the information about current opportunities in Lending Club loans. Here you will find the high interest loans with lower risks, based on statistical analysis instead of anecdotal perception.
The focus on Interest Radar is helping investors generate double-digit returns. They are catering to the investor that wants to do serious analysis in order to maximize the return on their investment. If you invest only in A grade loans at Lending Club you can certainly still use the platform but the investor who is looking to the high yield loans will get the most out of Interest Radar.
There are four main components to Interest Radar and we will look at each one in turn.
1. My Portfolio
This is a similar to what both Nickel Steamroller and Lendstats offer where you can download your Lending Club notes.csv file from the Notes section at Lending Club. Then you upload this CSV file and the site provides some analysis. The part that really differentiates Interest Radar here is that it remembers your data. If you upload your Notes file regularly you will be able to track how it changes over time.
One of the other unique parts of Interest Radar is its Cash Flow section. It will provide a history summarized by month of all the investments you have made including reinvestments. This table also breaks down your charge-offs as well as your monthly annualized return.
It also provides its own estimate of Internal Rate of Return that discounts late loans based on the recovery rate percentages provided by Lending Club on their Performance page. I would like to see that return number in the Portfolio History section at the top because it can be hard to find tucked away underneath the Cash Flow section. Finally, there is the Cycle Day Distribution table that shows you your estimated payments every day of the month.
The Analysis section allows the investor to analyze the Lending Club loan history. Interest Radar has taken all loans from October 2008 onwards and provided these loans for analysis. There is no date range where you can decide the subset of the Lending Club data to analyze like at Nickel Steamroller or Lendstats.
Everything in the Analysis section is driven by check boxes. This can be a little cumbersome at first but once you have your filters setup it is pretty easy to use. But if you are looking to duplicate your Lendstats filters exactly you probably won’t be able to do that because Interest Radar uses ranges in these checkboxes and not free format fields like Lendstats.
There are a couple of very useful parts to the Analysis section. First, you can save your strategies and second, if you check the Current Listings box and set your amount you can invest directly from within Interest Radar. Make sure you are logged in to Lending Club so when you click on Invest it will open up a new tab in your browser where you will have invested the amount you set. Keep doing that on each loan until you have finished then you can just go to Lendingclub.com to view and confirm your order. Very simple.
3. Strategy Shop
While not really a shop (the strategies are free) in this section you can view some predefined strategies that have been created by Interest Radar. These are mostly aggressive strategies and are displayed in order from the highest historical ROI to the lowest.
My only complaint about these strategies is that many of them contain very few loans. For example, the number one strategy, F/G High IR01 Score, has an historical ROI or 22% with just a 0.9% loss. But there have been only 154 loans issued that meet that strategy which brings into question the statistical significance of the returns. So I would use these strategies with caution.
When you click on these strategies you are taken to the Analysis page where the filters are loaded. You can then see the ROI and also the loans that are currently in funding that meet the criteria of the strategy.
4. Email alerts
Email alerts work best when you have uploaded your portfolio and have a couple of saved strategies. When you sign up for email alerts Interest Radar will email you once a day and give you several pieces of information. It will tell you which of your currently funding loans have been canceled and which ones issued. It knows this from your uploaded notes.csv file.
The other piece of information it tells you is how many loans are currently available at Lending Club for your saved strategies. There is no one-click investing from the email, it is provided for informational purposes only. You need to log back in to Interest Radar in order to see the available loans that meet your strategies.
The Interest Radar Score
The person behind Interest Radar has many years experience in the financial industry doing data analysis on consumer credit data. With this in mind he has created a model for scoring all the Lending Club loans. The scores are explained on this page along with an accompanying chart. So, you can choose to use this scoring model on the Analysis page with the IR01 score field.
Some Areas for Improvement
Interest Radar is an excellent product for a first beta version. But there are a number of shortcomings that I would like to see addressed:
- The interface – everything is done with checkboxes. So if you have detailed criteria it can take a while to get everything setup. I prefer free format fields like Lendstats or a slider like NickelSteamroller.
- Not all credit information is available for selection. For example DTI and revolving credit balance is missing – but I have been told this will be addressed shortly.
- In the Analysis section sometimes it displays notes available that are 100% funded.
- There is no undo function. If you Discard a loan there is no way to undo that. Similarly if you click Invest and decide not to invest once you get to Lending Club’s site there is no way to undo that.
- I would like to see a date range in the Analysis section so you can choose the Lending Club data time period for analysis.
- Some simple navigation between the different sections would make using the site easier.
Despite these shortcomings I think Interest Radar is well worth a look. I am sure it will improve with time but even as it stands now you can really use it to drive all your investing in Lending Club.
These are good times for p2p lending investors with so many great new sites being launched. Next week, we will take a look at a new analysis tool for Prosper.