March was a tough month for most people in the markets I would guess. Markets-wise we have seen a lot of volatility, with the FTSE 100 being down approximately 1,000 points from the highs we saw in January. This kind of decline is not favourable for tracker valuations, although it should be stressed that these are long-term investments and in the long run their returns are proven. The outlook for the market is mixed, but as previous dips have shown there will be opportunities to pick up really good equities at good prices. In the next month I will hopefully pick up some exposure to precious metals and emerging markets.
Many bullets were fired in the stock market, especially in retail. Many firms were severely punished on bad news, and I took a bit of a beating on Moss Bros. At the moment High Street retailers are not for faint-hearted investors, and this despite some keen valuations. It feels like there is no real big money supporting some of these firms prices, the absence of which gives rise to a general downtrend in the share price.
The overall P2P lending scene appears mixed. Investor confidence was on the rocks before the forced administration of Collateral, and with that many of the platforms are seemingly struggling to fill big loans. At the very least there is/was a good chunk of people that waded into P2P wanting to believe the operating models (me included) but have ended up being a bit stranded. I will continue to invest but my appetite has waned a little this month; hopefully the coming months will see some good news. Certain big repayments and an orderly wind-down of Collateral would see confidence return.
Lending Works (+£24.53): A new company for me this month. Seems to have very good customer service and good protection of capital (unlike Zopa) and a 6% return over 5 years (unlike Ratesetter).
Ablrate (+£67.71): Probably my favourite P2P platform at the moment. Consistent loan flow and yet to have any of the horrors that we have seen on other platforms. Majority of their loans appear tightly managed.
Unbolted (+£6.91): Very difficult to get big exposure here quickly, with your money being snapped up in c.£5 chunks. But plenty of deals and offers diversification. Considering the interest here is in excess of many property loans I think the security here is safer.
Moneything (+£27.43): No new loans I could get this month – the more popular ones went too quickly. With a couple of defaults here I remain neutral on this platform.
Assetz (+£24.75): Increased my exposure here this month. Liquidity used to be an issue here in the past but not now. Doesn’t appear to be that many good loans on the horizon relative to risk.
Mintos (£0.08): Has been a solid performer in the past, this months gains wiped out due to currency fluctuations. As a platform seem to be going from strength to strength.
Twino (+£4.96): I like the platform, but growth seems to have suffered because of Mintos. Cash drag is a real problem here, with not many loans making it to market, presumably already auto-bought by others.
Property Partner (+£4.47): Don’t have any problems here and returns are in-line with expectations.
Wisealpha (+£7.50): Bonds work as expected.
Seedrs (£0.00): No exits, but none expected as yet.
Funding Circle (+£29.67): Have re-invested here with some fear; will become apparent in a few months.
Moneyfarm (-£13.78): Like the concept but remains to be seen if they will beat my own investment choices.
Lendy (£207.85): Been drawing down so increasing portions of money held in bad loans. While they continue to bend the facts (has anyone not really lost capital there?) and the pipeline only offering never ending tranches of massive development projects it seems difficult to envisage anything else.
Funding Secure (+£24.01): Lots of new loans this month but seem ill-placed to collect on their numerous bad ones.
Zopa (+£2.82): One of the few months it has been positive. Overall Zopa+ is not attractive for me at the moment given the better alternatives.
Vanguard (-£353.15): Struggled badly, although was up at the start of the month.
Hargreaves Lansdown (-£84.16): Bad performance from my LISA, although on the brighter side the government bonus should kick in next month.
Pure Passive Investor. Always looking for ways to make money (but not myself) work harder.