It is that time again when I share my quarterly investment returns. This is something I have been doing for many years now and I know it is one of the most popular features on Lend Academy. I started out investing in marketplace lending many years ago with just Lending Club and Prosper but slowly have added new investments over the years. I share all the details in this post.
Before I get started I do need to provide one caveat with this quarter’s returns. I do not have final numbers for our own Lend Academy P2P fund yet. We are reviewing valuation methodologies and we have several service providers working with us on that possible change. This process is taking quite a bit longer than we expected. I know my quarterly returns are keenly anticipated by many of you and I like to publish them around this time. So rather than wait until the valuation is final I decided to publish my quarterly report now and I will adjust when we get final numbers. In the meantime I have used the December 31 numbers, assuming a flat Q1, to provide a returns estimate.
I have one new addition this quarter, Fundrise, they are a real estate platform that is open to non-accredited investors. While I had invested a very small amount with them several years ago I added to it substantially last year and so I am including it in my returns update now. You can find out more by listening to my podcast with the CEO, Ben Miller, from last year.
Overall Marketplace Lending Return at 4.90%
After a downward trend that has continued for many years I am wondering when I will reach a bottom. My preliminary return of 4.70% is close to where it was last quarter but still down. I don’t expect my final Lend Academy P2P Fund return to increase this number so I am still stuck in the downward trend of returns.
My six original accounts at Lending Club and Prosper have all been open for at least six years so they are very mature accounts that have experienced several turns of capital as I have kept reinvesting over the years. I separate these out because these were the accounts I had when I first started doing these reports so readers can go back and see how they have trended over time. The returns for the past year are still bad at 2.34% as I continue to pay for poor underwriting performance in 2015 and 2016 at both companies. When you see today that you can get 3% on a 10-year Treasury Note a sub 3% return is just not acceptable for an unsecured consumer loan.
While I continue to reinvest the principal and interest earned in my LendingClub and Prosper accounts in the hope and expectation of a rebound I am committing new capital elsewhere. I like real estate where you can still get mid to high single digit returns with the added security of an asset backing the loan. That is why I have added new money in the last 12 months to companies like Peerstreet, Alphaflow, Money360 and Fundrise. All are detailed here.
Now on to the numbers. Click the table below to see it at full size.