A Revelation

I read a lot. Really a lot. I average about 100 to 150 books I read each year. Nevertheless I rarely blog about a book on this blog, since I want to keep this blog focussed on the topic.

I’ll make an exception today. For one of the best books written by a politican I ever did read.

It does not offer a vision. It is better. It is a profound, through analysis of the current state of society, the upcoming huge challenges we face, the likely consequences of these and a set of solutions that actually are logical, made sense to me and are financially feasible.

Most politicians seem to be doctoring with tiny steps on the symptoms, but in this book the author describes a clear path he would want to take forward.

The book is written by Andrew Young, running for US president in 2020. I have no idea what his chances are. And I actually do not care much about inner-American politics.

The point is: In my view this book is not (only) about America. It addresses the major questions most Western society will face in the next decade. In Europe the impact will be delayed a few years and softened by better social security systems, but many aspects are the same.
One of these challenges is the replacement of many, many jobs by algorithms (AI) or robots (did you watch ‘Humans need not Apply’?).

What does it mean for all of us if millions of job disappear in a very short time-frame?

As part of the answer he proposes Universal Basic Income (UBI). I have been very sceptical about UBI. It reminds me too much about the failed Eastern European economies of the last century. And I am still not convinced. But Yang lays out a very logical set of arguments that makes me more curious.

Rarely have I wanted so much to see the implementation of a political plan, to see if it works out and delivers the expected results. A lot would have to happen. It is one thing to lay it all out beautiful in a book and a totally different beast to win the majority to implement change.

The book gets rave reviews on Amazon.com and in my view they are well deserved. If you are looking for a really interesting book either to read yourself or as a gift, I highly recommend:

‘The war on normal people’. The book is available at Amazon.com*, Amazon.co.uk*, and Amazon.de*.

The title is the least fitting part of this book.

UK Property Platform Kuflink Opens To Investors in Europe (100 GBP Cashback)

British p2p property platform Kuflink* has been in operation since 2016.  Previously accepting only UK residents as investors, the platform announced that they have enhanced their KYC/AML procedures and are now open to investors from anywhere in Europe. Interested investors can use a free UK bank account from Transferwise* Borderless or Revolut* (Smartphone required). And in exchanging money to GBP new TransferGo clients* can get a 10 GBP bonus when exchanging/sending at least 150 GBP.

Kuflink* offers short term property loans (usually 3 to 12 month), secured by a legal charge. They run a very generous 100 GBP cashback offer available by signing up through this this link*. Note that the landing page says 50 GBP, but I have negotiated with Kuflink that clients referred by P2P-Banking get 100 GBP (doubling normal cashback). VERY IMPORTANT: Read T&C and strictly follow them. E.g. the minimum investment of 500 GBP must be reached within 24 hours of first investment. While it is possible to spread your investment over several loans, be sure that you are in line with the T&C terms.
You can find more cashback deals on this page.

Kuflink loans
Screenshot: Available Kuflink loans (selection).

Every loan offer comes with detailed information, including a valuation report. Since the start in 2016, Kuflink has originated more than 20 million GBP in loan volume.

Kuflink* does not charge investors any fees. Interest is paid on the first day of each month (for manual investing). There is an autoinvest option, but conditions are less interesting than on manual investing. Two features Kuflink lacks are a secondary market and a detailed statistic page (there is some information in the FAQ).

In April I published an interview with the Kuflink CEO.



Configuring the new Mintos Secondary Market Autoinvest for a Test

Mintos* has announced a new feature – the autoinvest can now be used to buy loan parts on the secondary market too. I am setting up a new autoinvest to test it and am curious how many loan parts I will be able to acquire with this new feature. Just like on the primary market there are many selections adjustable.

Mintos Auto Invest Secondary market
Screenshot Mintos Auto Invest Secondary Market

Mintos will roll out the new feature to all investors on Dec. 3rd. Only selected investors will be unlocked earlier. Mintos* says investors can deposit an additional 5,000 EUR to add to their balance to get early access. Also investorswhich have invested at least 50,000 EUR will have early access.

Mintos Auto Invest Secondary Market Details
Screenshot: Further details of Mintos Auto Invest Secondary Market

For the further details of the test, I set the secondary market auto invest to buy loans with at least 10% YTM, a maximum loan term of 30 month and at least 0.5% discount. I left the interest rate open, as the restriction is not really necessary for me in this case in conjunction with the YTM and the discount.. For ‘Do you want to reinvest’ and ‘Include loans already invested in’ I choose ‘Yes’. I deselected ‘Diversify across loan originators’ as I want to buy all loans that match these conditions.

No surprise – no loans match my selection. Loans with these criteria selected by me have been bought up fast in the past, even before the introduction of this new autoinvest. I do wonder, which investor will get priority in case there will be autoinvests of multiple investors matching a new loan up for sale. I expect this new autoinvest will be a popular feature amongst Mintos* investors.

Not many but a few other p2p lending platforms offer autoinvests for their secondary markets too.



International P2P Lending Volumes September 2018

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. Mintos* leads ahead of Zopa and Ratesetter*. The total volume for the reported marketplaces in the table adds up to 410 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms. This month I added Colectual* and Landlordinvest*.

Milestones achieved this month (total volume since launch):

  • Folk2Folk crossed 250M GBP
  • Loanbook Capital crossed 50M EUR

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

Edit Oct. 4th: Today an updated version of the table was published.

P2P Lending Stats September 2018
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in September 2018. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading