October 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

I was a little distracted last month and this continued to be the case this month. With various social outings, the weeks have just gone by in a haze.

Work has continued to be chaotic and also very weird, as my boss has now been laid off and I have a new boss, someone I had a dotted line report to previously. Whilst I get on with my interim boss, I miss my old boss already!

On a personal front, I actually secured a date the old fashioned way! That is, there wasn’t a Tinder-swipe or online dating profile in sight! I got dancing with someone at my friend’s wedding, we swapped numbers, we went out on a date. Ok, so there was to be no 2nd date (sorry, he had too many young children to support!) but hey, it’s good to see that old-school ways can still work in today’s dating environment! 😉

Anyway, how do things look on the numbers front?

oct16saved

So I managed a savings rate of 40.7%, not quite as good as last month but not bad considering the social events.

My average savings rate continues its downward trend  –  it’s now at 46%.  I accept that it’ll be impossible for me to achieve my end of year target of 50% – even 45% might be a stretch with the festive season coming up. I’ll keep going anyway.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received and £39.97 from TopCashback*.

I also chucked some more of my matched betting profits into some property crowdfunding via Property Moose*. The website has now introduced a secondary market so it is now possible to sell or buy ‘shares’ if you wish, although of course, if selling, these need to be purchased by other members of Property Moose.

Future Fund 

The falling sterling and buoyant markets continue to be good for my portfolio, which now stands at £86,509, a gain of 4.3% from last month.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested): Continue reading

Crowdfunding – Two Sides

Apart from setting up some direct debits for various charities, I’ve not withdrawn or used any of the profits that I’ve made via matched betting. I’ve just let the funds accumulate across my current account, my exchange accounts and the various gambling accounts.

In June, I finally invested £100 of the profits but I opted to do something different. theFIREstarter’s post reminded me of something that I had looked at previously but not gone for – I decided to invest a little in property crowdfunding.

Property crowdfunding “allows people to invest in buy-to-let properties without having to take on the additional responsibilities that come with being a landlord”. So says the blurb. Anyway, here’s a better explanation of what property crowdfunding is all about.

If I had a wedge of spare capital, I would probably be tempted to buy another little BTL property but I don’t, so property crowdfunding interested me when I first heard about it.

Some of the property crowdfunding websites required a minimum of £1000-£5000 investment but I went for Property Moose*, where the minimum investment is just £10.

propertymoos

So basically, you pick an available property from the website, invest your money with a load of other people to buy ‘shares’ in the property. When the property is tenanted, you start earning ‘monthly rental’ based on the number of shares you own.

Rental income seems to vary from around 5% – 7%. With Property Moose, most properties tend to be in the north/northwest, with only a few in London. Said properties tend to be ones which require renovation and you are able to see the progress of the renovations via photos posted on the website.  At the end of the fixed investment term (ranging from 1-3 years), the property is sold and proceeds are shared amongst the investors (subject to their share and less costs and expenses), although it appears that investors are able to vote to retain the property for a further year.

Property crowdfunding is not without its risks – I view it along the same lines as P2P  – still pretty new, regulated but not covered by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) so I’ll not be investing a huge amount in this.

Since that initial investment, I’ve chucked some more matched betting profits at Property Moose.  I think there’s still some life left in investing in property (yes, despite Brexit and the doom and gloom about property bubbles) so will be continuing to build on this investment bit by bit and will update with the rest of my portfolio.

Another Side to Crowdfunding

I came across Kiva a while ago but decided to revisit when I was looking for charities to support recently.

kiva

Kiva is a charity platform which aims to support people from poorer countries via crowdfunding loans. Deki is another platform, which I hope to have a look at again.

So how does it work? First, a borrower applies for a loan. Usually, loans are to start or grow a small business, used to go to school/further education or simply to be able to live in better conditions.

The loan, after it’s approved is crowdfunded by other lenders, in $25 increments.

Repayments of the loan are made on a monthly basis and such repayments can then either be withdrawn or used to fund other loans.

My first Kiva loan was to a woman from the Philippines who wanted to build a sanitary toilet for her family…. such things that we take for granted…

So, different sides to crowdfunding – I hope to make some money on the one side, and hope to help improve someone’s life a little on the other.

[*Referral Link – edited 16/09/16]

P2P – 2 Year Update

Following on from my last review, another 12 months have gone by so here’s an update on my peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

P2P image

Around this time last year, my P2P portfolio stood at £2,098.15.

As at June 2016, it totalled £2,437.20.

£226.88 came from referrals and a bit of new investment (a whole £26.88!), so actual increase was £112.17 (5.3%).

This increase compares favourably to the 4.9% I achieved in 2015 as I continue to reinvest my money in loans with higher interest rates.

Here’s my P2P portfolio:

Funding Circle – £1,050.11
FundingKnight – £105.18
LandBay – £204.09
Lending Works – £355.55
RateSetter – £730.02

Defaults

In December, I suffered my first P2P loan default. Since then, there has been a second default. The above 5.3% increase includes both defaults (both of which were with Funding Circle). Most of my loans are very small and spread out (I have over 80 loans with Funding Circle), thus hopefully, minimising the impact of defaults.  Had I not had those defaults, I would have seen an increase of 6.4%.

Administration

P2P does have its risks. It’s not covered by the FSCS so there is the chance that you may not get all your money back should things go belly up.

In June, FundingKnight went into administration.  The first I heard about it was when I received an email stating that it had been acquired by a company called GLI Finance. I don’t have much loaned via FundingKnight but some lenders may indeed be trying to get their money back in a panic. I can see on the website that there are lots of loans on the secondary market and not a lot of new loans (if any). What I’m going to do is to withdraw repayments made and recycle them into one of my other P2P accounts – I’m not going to try to cancel down my loans or sell them.

This does mean that I’ll not really be keeping to my P2P diversification plan, but my funds will still be spread between the other accounts.

So, whilst I’m not currently intending to add any new funds, I will continue to reinvest and of course, will monitor my portfolio closely.

May 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

My last ‘normal’ month for a while, so how did I get on in May?

may16saved

Ooooh, so close at 49.2%!

My average savings rate now stands at 51.3%, so still on target.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received, £123 gambling winnings (a small punt on Leicester winning the league, a small win from the Eurovision Song Contest sweep at work and a big win from Man U winning the FA Cup!) and £9.14 from TopCashback*.

Future Fund 

New capital and steady markets mean that my pot now stands at £68,127.91.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested): Continue reading