Fellow Finance P2P Lending – My Portfolio and Strategy

Fellow Finance is a p2p lending marketplace in Finland. It started 2013 with loans to Finnish consumers, and later added Polish consumer loans and loans to Finnish SME’s. Since launch more than 100 million EUR in loans were funded. See earlier blog coverage on Fellow Finance by P2P-Banking.com.

The basics are:

  • minimum bid is 25 EUR
  • no investor fees (except for 1% fee for selling on secondary market)
  • loans rated from 1 star to 5 stars, interest rates depend largely on this rating, terms up to 7 years
  • underbidding auctions, but in practise most bidding is done by allocator (autoinvest) at a ‘market rate’

I started a small test investment early in 2016, but really started building my portfolio from autumn 2016. Since then I have deposited 4,000 Euro. I currently invest only in Finnish consumer loans and concentrate on 3 and 4 star loans for which the market rates are currently 13% and 15%. The Finnish consumer loans are covered by a buyback guarantee of 70%, meaning in case they are 90 days overdue, they will be sold for 70% of outstanding principal to a collection agency.

My investment on Fellow Finance is conducted solely through the allocator (the autoinvest) function.

Allocator settings
My current Fellow Finance allocator settings – click to enlarge

Basically for me Fellow Finance is a mostly hands-off investment running on autopilot. I do log in at least bi-weekly to check if the market rates have changed. The market rates do fluctate sometimes at +/- 1%, and I felt it necessary to tweak the rate of my allocator then to keep it bidding (at the best possible rate). Fellow Finance is one of the very few platforms, where investors can configure the autoinvest to buy on the secondary market, but I have not used that. Also so far I feel no need to use the secondary market for selling. While several of my loans have gone late, they all catched up and none have defaulted. But my portfolio is still very young so it is bound to happen sometime in the future. The Fellow Finance statistics page gives figures for past loss rates by credit grades. It also shows that interest rate levels have sunk sharply in the end of 2015, beginning of 2016 – I guess I should have started to use this marketplace earlier.

Getting money deployed can take a while, as a lot of the bids (loan reservations) are cancelled. I started with 25 EUR bids by the allocator but to speed deployment up, I increased my maximum bid size to 60 Euro.

Overall the website – which is available in english language – is good, only sometimes a tad slow to respond. A mobile is needed to receive SMS codes to confirm some actions.

My plan it to increase my portfolio by another 1,000 Euro, bringing it to 5,000 and then to reinvest proceeds and see how it develops over time.

What are your Fellow Finance experiences? There are over 150 posts on the German investor’s Fellow Finance forum thread. Reviews there are mostly positive in tone.

Fellow Finance portfolio dashboard
My Fellow Finance portfolio dashboard

 

Fellow Finance Adds SME Loans

Fellow Finance logoFinnish p2p lending marketplace Fellow Finance now also offers SME loans.

In the service, companies can apply for financing for growth and investments from Fellow Finance’s investors.. Fellow Finance has intermediated loans for consumers through its service for 40 million EUR during a period of 12 months. Opening a financing service for companies stems from the needs of Fellow Finance customers and with the new Crowdfunding Act established legal framework for the operation has been established.

I checked the marketplace. Right now there is one loan request for 70,000 Euro at 11% interest rate, 60 month term listed.

‘We have already received requests and inquiries from our clientele for a long time about whether we could also start financing companies. Many of our customers are either current or former entrepreneurs who understand the financing challenges faced by Finnish SMEs in different phases of business. They have a strong desire to finance other entrepreneurs and offer promising projects the chance to really take off’, says Jouni Hintikka, CEO of Fellow Finance. Continue reading

Fellow Finance Expands to Poland

P2P lending marketplace Fellow Finance is now open for borrowers in Poland. Polish customers can now apply for peer-to-peer loans with maturity from 1 to 3 years up to 12 000 PLN. For Fellow Finance investors this gives an opportunity to diversify their investments geographically and in two currencies (EUR and PLN) with single consolidated user interface and reporting in investor’s own preferred currency. The ability to operate in multiple currencies also enables Fellow Finance to scale its platform to new geographies swiftly in the future.

‘Poland is a huge market in Europe with 38 million people. The Polish economy is one of the fastest growing in Europe. Consumer and consumption behavior are changing with the expanding economy. Mobile penetration and online lending have seen a fast and continuous growth in the last 4 years. Launching operations in Poland makes Fellow Finance a genuine international platform where investors can easily do direct investments in consumer loans across geographies and in multiple currencies. …’ says Jouni Hintikka, CEO of Fellow Finance. Continue reading

Taaleritehdas becomes an owner of the P2P lending company Fellow Finance

Taaleritehdas invested 2 million EUR in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company Fellow Finance Oy and, at the same time, sold the entire stock of its Financing Company Lainaamo Ltd to Fellow Finance Oy as a share exchange. Lainaamo has a consumer credit portfolio of approximately 20 million EUR  with thousands of consumer customers. After the acquisition, Taaleritehdas owns 38.4% of Fellow Finance Oy. In addition, Taaleritehdas has an option to increase its holding in the company by 7.3%.
Fellow Finance’s founders, Jouni Hintikka and Teemu Nyholm, each own 18.4% of the company. In total, Fellow Finance key persons have a 57.3% holding in the company.

According to its vision, Taaleritehdas aims to develop the Finnish capital market. Taaleritehdas believes that increased direct financing will be one of the most significant changes in the finance industry in the future. The focus in financing will increasingly shift from the bank-centric approach towards direct financing. Another strong megatrend in the financing sector, as seen by Taaleritehdas, is digitalisation. Both Fellow Finance and Lainaamo offer their services completely online. Ownership of Fellow Finance enables Taaleritehdas to offer its customers a new investment form and to utilise digitalisation in its own activities, as well. The merger of Lainaamo and Fellow Finance will not affect the position of borrower
customers or investors. Continue reading