Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of the statistics site Lendstats. I have based my entire p2p investment strategy on queries that I have run on that site. Now, there are not one, but two new p2p lending statistics sites that have launched recently.
The person behind Nickel Steamroller is a big fan of Lendstats, he says that site inspired him to create his own statistics site. In some ways Nickel Steamroller provides some of the same data as Lendstats does but he has added a few new features as well. Right now it only works with Lending Club data but there are plans in the works to cover Prosper as well. In the interests of full disclosure I should say that the owner of Nickel Steamroller contacted me a few weeks ago to give some feedback so I have provided several suggestions to him, many of which have been implemented on his site.
First let’s take a look at the core statistics. The Get Started tab provides an overview of the ROI for different criteria, but what is more interesting is the Return Rates function. This is where you can run your own queries against the Lending Club data. It provides a pretty simple design that is less cluttered than the Lendstats site. It doesn’t have every data point but it hits most of the important ones. It provides an estimated ROI, the default rate, a return-to-risk ratio (which is just ROI/default rate) and the total number of loans. Nickel Steamroller is updated every day with new Lending Club data.
New Tools for P2P Investors
There are two new tools on Nickel Steamroller that I think many Lending Club investors will find useful. The first is the Analyze Your Portfolio option. If you download your entire Lending Club portfolio as a CSV file and then upload it here Nickel Steamroller will analyze it and make suggestions. Some of the suggestions you may or may not want to take but I found it useful in identifying places where I had accidentally invested twice in the same note. It highlights these notes for you.
The other new tool that is pretty cool is the saved searches and email alerts. If you create an account on Nickel Steamroller you can save your searches and then sign up for email alerts. Then every morning Nickel Steamroller will send you an email with new loans that have recently come on the platform that meet your search criteria. You can click on the link to these loans in the email and invest in just a few clicks.
The other new statistics site is Smart Peer Lending which is also focused just on Lending Club statistics for now. It is not as extensive as Nickel Steamroller but it does provide a loan analyzer tool. This tool, while useful, is a little bit cumbersome to use but it does hit pretty much every data point that Lending Club provides. There is also a tab for Lending Club statistics that summarizes the entire Lending Club loan database into different criteria, although some of the data here looks like it has some problems.
One useful thing that Smart Peer Lending has done is include an area where you can just list a bunch of loan numbers and it will calculate the ROI on those loans. I downloaded all the loans in my new IRA, copied and pasted the loan numbers and it calculated my ROI. It was about three percentage points less than my Lending Club NAR, which is likely a better estimated ROI than the Lending Club NAR on such a young portfolio (my average loan age in this account is just 2 months).
Comparing ROI Calculations
The most important piece of information for p2p investors is the ROI calculation. I took a relatively simple filtering criteria so I could compare the estimated ROI on both these new sites and Lendstats. I chose all D and E grade loans with a maximum number of inquiries of zero. Here is the ROI comparison:
Lendstats – 8.44%
Nickel Steamroller – 9.96%
Smart Peer Lending – 7.28%
Obviously there are some big differences here. Part of that can be explained by the loss rates. Nickel Steamroller uses loss rates that are recommended by Lending Club whereas Lendstats uses its own (less optimistic) loss rates, which causes a lower estimated ROI. Some of the reason that Smart Peer Lending is lower is because is sets every loan to $1,000 and it may use different loss rates as well, I am not sure. My last email to the owner of that site has not been answered as of this writing.
My Take on These New Statistics Sites
While Ken from Lendstats might not be thrilled with the competition I think for p2p investors this can only be a good thing. These two new sites are not quite ready to supplant Lendstats as the p2p lending statistics standard, but they do provide an alternative for investors. Both developers have indicated they want to continue improving their site. Let them know what you think and what they need to work on in the comments.