Lending Works is a ‘hands-off’ investment platform which offers peer to peer personal loans. It targets lower risk consumers with higher credit ratings. It offers both a provision fund and additional insurance to protect against default on all its products. Since officially launching at the start of 2014, Lending Works has lent out over £39 million. Read more “Lending Works Review”
*Update: November 2017. It’s been 10 months since I wrote this review, and since then the secondary market has slowed down significantly. My personal expectations of future returns is lower too. I’m still waiting upon any of my ‘buy-to-sell’ properties selling although it seems like several have been in the final stages for some time now.
Property Moose is one of the UK’s largest Property Crowdfunding platforms. It allows investors to buy shares of a property and receive ongoing rental payments and capital appreciation. For each property investment an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) is created. This is a distinct UK limited company which handles all rental income, costs, and has complete ownership of the underlying property. Along with Property Moose, there are 2 other large property crowdfunding platforms: Property Partner and The House Crowd. What makes Property Moose different is its focus on low cost, undervalued Northern/ Midlands properties with high rental yields. They occasionally have more complex leveraged investments and property secured lending, and you manually select which individual projects to invest in. Read more “Property Moose Review”
Moneyfarm is an investment robo-advisor, which uses underlying low-cost ETFs to invest clients’ funds. It manages your stock market/ bond investments for you and cuts out the transaction fees associated with investing directly yourself. You set up your investment goals and your risk profile, and their platform allocates your funds to an optimised, low cost investment portfolio. They have no platform fees on the first £10,000 investment and you just pay the underlying ETF fees. Beyond that there are platform fees (I’ll go into more detail and some case studies in this review).
I’ve been investing with Moneyfarm for just over 4 months. I’ve also been using TD Direct Investing, a traditional broker, for more than 5 years. So this review will look at this new robo-advisor through the eyes of someone used to a more manual, hands-on platform. I will compare an investment in a Vanguard LifeStrategy fund via TD Direct Investing with Moneyfarm. Read more “Moneyfarm Review: Robo-Advisors Versus Traditional Brokers”
Funding Circle is one of the largest P2P lending platforms, having lent £2.1 billion to businesses since it launched in 2010. Like Zopa and Ratesetter, it’s perhaps viewed as one of the safer platforms due to its established track record and the amount of investment behind it. So far, it has raised over £100million in external funding and in January 2017 joined the “Unicorn” club: tech startups with a valuation of $1billion and above. Unlike Zopa and Ratesetter, it offers far more control over which loans you chose to fund and has a secondary market to trade existing loans. Read more “Funding Circle Review”
Note: Article first written 1st Aug 2016, fully updated 19th Dec 2016.
Zopa is the oldest and largest P2P lender in the UK. This established track record and the massive size of its loan-book means it’s generally regarded as one of the safer P2P platforms. In March 2016 they restructured their investment products into three accounts: Access, Classic and Plus. These offer either easier access to sell out, or longer term investments with and without a safety fund. Read more “Zopa Review”
Note: I have not personally invested in The Money Platform and this post is largely a write up of my ‘working notes’ to decide if I will invest.
The Money Platform is a new peer-to-peer lending platform which connects investors directly with individual ‘pay day’ borrowers. Borrowers apply for loans between £250 and £1000 at 0.3% to 0.7% interest per day. These loans are then sold individually to investors via the platform. Loan terms are from 3 to 12 weeks and are non-compounding. Read more “The Money Platform”
In short, BondMason acts as a peer to peer investment manager, for a 1% fee of invested capital. They handpick each loan from a range of third party platforms and investment opportunities. To reduce risk, they conduct due diligence firstly on the lending platforms themselves and then later on individual loans. As far as I can tell they invest in around 18 different platforms*, and of these select the best 1/3rd of the loans. They also source loans from selected primary lenders. Read more “BondMason Review”
MoneyThing.com provides secured loans against assets such as property or vehicles. The parent company, Capital Mortgages Direct, has been running since 2004 but only launched its peer-to-peer site in November 2014. Investors receive between 10% and 13% per annum with loan-to-value between 60% and 80%. Borrowers pay rates as advertised from 1.5% per month, so the platform and its partners are sustained between lending at 1.5% per month and paying investors 1%. The platform is popular on the P2P independent forum and with investors: loan origination more than doubled in the first half of 2016 to £18,000,000. It is a manual investment platform: there’s no auto-bidding and you have to manually log in and bid on loans as they are released, generally at 4pm. Read more “MoneyThing Review”
Not to be confused with ‘Orchard Platform’ or ‘Lending Club’, Orchard Lending Club is a new peer-to-peer lending platform backed by an established AIM listed company. Lenders invest in ‘hands off’ fixed term products rather than individual loans. Capital is guaranteed by the parent company, Orchard Funding Group PLC, whose constituents have been running for up to 20 years. Read more “Orchard Lending Club Review”
eMoneyUnion provides personal loans to borrowers at a representative APR of 9% for a secured first charge on a low LTV property up to 84.5% for unsecured loans to those with low credit ratings. In turn lenders are paid between 7% on similar secured loans and up to 15% for the riskiest rated unsecured loans. The difference between rates for lenders and borrowers can partially be explained by contributions to the provision fund, as borrowers contribute up to 25% of repayments into the ‘eProvision Fund’ that exists to cover bad debts. Read more “eMoneyUnion Review”