My annual expenses jumped to a crazy 29,814 €!

Lifestyle inflation is a bitch. Last year I reported that my yearly expenses were a measly 26,477€ and I didn't think of updating this post for 2019. I figured it'll be around the same amount.

Imagine my horror when I realized now that actually my expenses have jumped by 10%! And of course my salary didn't, which would mean less money is going into savings and investments.

This of course needs further investigation. Where am I spending more?

How has COVID-19 affected lending and stock market?

Surprisingly little, it would seem. But it's likely only the surface.

Quality platforms have been quick to respond. Some platforms such as Swaper have tightened their risk management protocols. This is necessary for them when they provide a buyback guarantee, as doing otherwise could risk them ending up insolvent.

This year will separate the wheat from the chaff with peer lending platforms

Recently, there's been a lot of grief in the peer lending industry. Kuetzal vanished. Envestio vanished. Looks like Grupeer is following suit. Wisefund cancelled the 'early exit' promise. So did Monethera.

Those who know what these platforms are (or were) can likely see a pattern: they all boast high returns and invest in SMB:s and/or development projects. And they're all located in either Riga or Tallinn.

What other platform has similar characteristics? Crowdestor. However, I agree with explorep2p that Crowdestor still feels like being in a different category, never having promised early exit opportunities or bottomless buyback guarantees.

But at the same time: notice what platforms are completely missing? Consumer loans.

Bear call spreads: trading in a bear market

I'm not an experienced options trader, so what I'm about to tell you reflects my very recent learnings in the domain.

When you're convinced (like I still am) that the coronavirus has not been fully tallied up in especially the american stock prices, you might want to benefit from the situation.

March 2020 update

Please remember that nothing on this blog should be taken as investment advice.

What a start for the year!

First the Kuetzal scam and its ongoing legal actions. Then Envestio following on the same path, with concerning signs on also both Monethera and Wisefund.

Edit 28.3.2020: And now looks like Grupeer might follow the group. At this point, the P2P industry looks very fragile and I'm definitely going to reduce my position drastically.

And now the stock market plummeting because of the coronavirus!

This year is going to be awful in so many ways.

But I'm not panicking. I'm actually very well positioned right now for the future. What will I do?

How coronavirus affects my investing

Stock indices have plummeted in the last couple of weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P 500 is down -8% this year. What am I planning to do about the situation?

My 2½ year old Bondora portfolio has returned 27%

Bondora is very different to for example Mintos. Two things set Bondora apart from the competition
  1. They issue the loans themselves, and
  2. They don't have a buyback guarantee (Read my Bondora review on why they shouldn't either)
This should at first alarm you. With this kind of setup, Bondora's intresses aren't exactly aligned with yours, as Bondora will make money even if you don't.

More real estate and stocks

Investing is exciting. I have a particular dislike for losing money, but I especially hate losing money due to scams.

Two scams occurring simultaneously has made me question my approach: a heavy peer lending portfolio. In fact, had I been in stocks last year instead of peer lending, I'd be perhaps 50k€ richer today. 🤷

What is diversification and why is it most important for long term returns?

Nobody likes to lose money (Like I just very likely did on Kuetzal). I particularly dislike losing money. If you invest however, you're bound to lose money at some point.

It's inevitable. You will lose money. Accept it.

I'm trying my best to embrace loss, despite my utter dislike for it. To avoid loss at all costs means to avoid wins too.

January 2020 update: 4,775 € loss

Oh no.

I've been dreading to write this update.

If you haven't heard, Kuetzal platform has collapsed and most of the details point towards fraud. There are those who are convinced that most of the projects didn't exist in the first place, if any.

I honestly don't know what to make of all this, but I have now accepted that I've lost 6k €. With my current passive income, that's about four months. But I feel I deserve it. I was greedy. I let my fear of missing out cloud my judgement. I jumped on the bandwagon. I was the dumb money. 🤷‍♂️


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