Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Net Annual Return on Lending Club Account Up from 9.5% in 2010 to 11.0% in 2011

I have been originating (peer-2-peer) loans at Lending Club since Dec 2008. Since starting, I have issued 371 loans, of which:

56 loans fully paid off
0 loans late, default or charged off

In 2009, I made a net 7.7% return on my investment (after fees and note sales). During 2009, I only had one losing month where I had a monthly annualized return of negative 5.24%.

In 2010, I made a net 9.5%. My worst month had a monthly annualized return of 0.89%.

In 2011, I made a net 11.0%. My worst month had a monthly annualized return of

Lending Club says my account has a net annualized return of 13.87% and total interest earned of $905.74. Each of these are way off my actual return. My net earnings are actually some $200.65 less than what Lending Club advertises. The problem with Lending Club is that it doesn't fully factor in all fees and losses incurred in the sale of notes.

Overall, with exception to Lending Club not having "net earnings" and "net annual yield" displayed on its account dashboard, I am satisfied with Lending Club.

I attribute my greater success in 2011 to increasing my risk tolerance in notes that i'm willing to fund. Since 2009, I have been aggressive to sell notes before they hit 16 days late. By doing this, I book small monthly losses on some notes vice periodic large losses on defaults. Additionally, it is best to do small loans of
$25 since more people have funds available and are willing to risk buying small late loans. I will continue to execute this strategy and pursue lending club notes above 14%.

My note filter is:
Interest rate: Excludes A and B rated notes
Term: 36 and 60 month
Funding progress: 10% or more
Max loan amount: $25k
Exclude loans invested in: Yes
Max debt-to-income: 20%
Months since last delinquency: 12 months or more
Inquiries in the last 6 months: 3 max
Min length of employment: 1

In addition to this, I am reluctant to fund notes where the monthly income is less than 1/3 of total revolving credit balance. I exceed this sometimes when I believe that the individual is truly going to use the money for debt consolidation.


Anonymous said...

I use a similar strategy of selling my "Grace Period" loans before they hit the 16 day late period.

It takes daily checking to keep up on it, but it gives a piece of mind to not have any defaults or very late loans sitting around.

Logically I have no way of really knowing if it's the best strategy in the long run though. There is a real chance I'm losing more money on small selling "grace period" losses vs. the rarer but big "default" losses.

John said...

I have a buddy who is making a great return at Lending Club. Interesting stuff! Sounds like a good investment, but at the same time is sounds a bit risky.

Jason said...

It's always interesting to see the returns that real investors receive after being invested for prolonged periods of time.