Kuetzal review: up to 21%+ interest with full buyback guarantee

Oh boy do I have a treat for you! A new winner in its category. I present to you Kuetzal!

In their own words: "Kuetzal aims to be a platform that connects the most promising regional projects with investors to create mutual high value added cooperation."

And it the details sound swee-eet! I might have found my favorite business crowdlending platform, but there are, as always, some concerns.

Background on Kuetzal

Kuetzal has an interesting name. It threw me off to be honest. Most other platforms have something in their name that suggest crowdlending or investing (e.g. Crowdestor or Envestio), but Kuetzal decided to do something different: they chose their name based on a rare south American bird, Quetzal, that is considered sacred by the Aztec and Maya tribes and is associated with trust, magnificence and brilliance.

Kuetzal was founded in Tallinn, Estonia, in July 2018 by a young guy named Alberts Čevers. Alberts used to work in Spain for a couple of other lending related companies Twinero and Viventor, so he definitely has experience in the field.

The team is very young however. The founders and employees seem to be pretty much fresh out of university. I'm not saying young guys cannot be competent, but understanding the team is definitely one part of risk assessment. And young people simply do not have the same history to show for as kind of guarantee for future success. With these guys you just have to look at what they are doing and try to see deeper than the surface.

Kuetzal returns

Returns on Kuetzal are pretty staggering. I am personally getting so far 21% in internal return rate on my Kuetzal portfolio. You can check my monthly updates for more information.

Use my Kuetzal compound interest calculator to see how quickly capital starts to compound with such rates.

Of course such interest rates cannot last forever and past performance isn't a guarantee of future.

How Kuetzal works

Kuetzal is very simple to get started with:
  1. Sign up at https://www.kuetzal.com
  2. Provide a proof of identification (e.g. photo of passport)
  3. Wire money to your account
  4. Pick a project to invest in
That's it!

Investments can have different running periods and payment schedules, so make sure you understand how long you are invested and when do you start to get money.

Investments seem to all be un-amortized, meaning that the principal is only paid back, in full, at the end of the loan. Interest usually is paid monthly, but make sure you check that.

Kuetzal Buyback guarantee and Kuetzal care

The buyback guarantee and the Kuetzal care are there to reduce uncertainties and thus reduce risk. All projects have the Kuetzal care, but only some of the projects have buyback guarantee. I personally have only invested in buyback guaranteed projects. But for each their own.

With buyback guarantee, Kuetzal promises to buy back a bad loan from investors after two months. You can read more about it from the Kuetzal FAQ. As always with buyback guarantees, the devil is in the details and the guarantee works if you trust the platform will stay up. But it is generally a great protection to have.

Kuetzal has collateral agreements on the loans with buyback guarantee (mostly real estate). In the case of a default, Kuetzal will pay the investors back their principal, 100%, within two months of the announced default. This money is taken from Kuetzal's own funds (important point), and Kuetzal then will use the collateral to cover for this lost cash.

A buyback guaranteed loan also means that in case you need to, you can sell your investment back to Kuetzal with a 10% discount. This helps with any liquidity concerns.

On Kuetzal, you start to receive interest on your investment as soon as you have made the investment - you do not need to wait for a project to be full. Kuetzal care simply means that the projects on Kuetzal are covered by other, larger investors in case crowdlenders fail to fill the project full. It's a guarantee that all projects will be fully funded no matter what.

The good

  • Some of the loans have very high yields. I've often seen loans with 18% and over.
  • And these high-yield loans some have buyback guarantees even!
  • You don't have to wait for a project to be fully funded, you'll start generating interest immediately after you invest.
  • You can sell your loan back (with a 10% penalty), in case you're concerned about liquidity.

The bad

  • The team, including the CEO, is young. It's hard to say how well they will manage.
  • The non-conditional buyback guarantees come from Kuetzal's own funds, that is covered by the collateral of the projects. This opens Kuetzal up for a liquidity crisis in case projects default, but collateral cannot be covered quickly.
  • High interests communicate high risk, but it's made to look like there are none. Tread lightly.

Full disclosure

Bear in mind that I'm a risk taker.

I very much enjoy investing in the twilight zone of alternative investments. One great example of this is the Agrikaab, generating so far over 30% annual interest in camel milk. So I'm not the first one to turn away from a risky investment.

With so much of my wealth in P2P loans, about half currently (as you can see from my monthly updates), so I can get a little speed blind at times. I so far have over 6,000 € in Kuetzal, and I see more reasons to increase that to 10,000€.

For me, Kuetzal is a great opportunity to further diversify my P2P portfolio into business loans. The good outweigh the bad for me. If Kuetzal was a little older and the team more experienced, I'd give Kuetzal a full five stars. But, since these small things give me a little pause, I'll stick to four ⭐⭐⭐⭐. That's still very good.

If you're considering investing through the platform, I recommend you use my affiliate link to Kuetzal, as it will give you an extra 0.5% for the first 180 days on the platform.

To reduce platform risk, diversifying across multiple platforms is important. If Kuetzal looks interesting to you, I recommend also checking out the following reviews and considering diversifying your portfolio across multiple platforms:

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