PeerBerry Review: My Experience After 6 Months Investing

PeerBerry Review

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, but is 100% honest and unbiased. I donate 20% of blog profits to charity.


I have invested in P2P lending since 2016 and have now tried close to 10 different platforms in Europe.

I added PeerBerry to my investments six months ago and I thought it was time to give a proper review of what you can expect when investing with PeerBerry.

PeerBerry was founded in 2017 in Latvia and has managed to get more than 7,000 registered investors funding more than 36 million EUR in loans.

PeerBerry primarily offers consumer loans, but also have a few leasing and real estate loans. The loans come from more than 15 loan originators (and increasing), which means investments can be more diversified compared to most other P2P lending companies.

At the time of writing, all of their available loans had a buyback guarantee, which means that if borrowers default on their loans, the loan originator promises to repay you the loan amount. This essentially removes one of the main risks of investing in P2P lending. On top of this, PeerBerry offers an autoinvest feature that can make investing according to your preferences much easier.

PeerBerry offers loans with up to 13% in interest and has a self-reported average pre-tax return of 11.98% to investors. This is decent but not as good as other platforms such as Envestio and Grupeer.

PeerBerry has received a few, decent reviews on TrustPilot with a TrustScore of 7.8:

Overall, my experience with PeerBerry has been good. For me, it serves as a good alternative to Mintos and a way to diversify my P2P lending portfolio, but it is not my first choice.

Make sure to check out my comparison of the best P2P lending platforms in Europe before you decide on the best platform for you.

 

 

First impressions of PeerBerry

My first impressions with PeerBerry were really good.

Like other platforms in Europe, PeerBerry is similar in the sense that it matches borrowers with lenders. You deposit money, decide on the type of loans you want to invest in and ultimately receive interest from the borrower once you have invested in a loan.

It only took me 2 days from I registered and deposited 200 EUR until I was ready to invest.

One of my favorite things with the PeerBerry platform is the intuitive interface. The site looks great and it is easy to navigate with very few menu items and just enough information to keep you happy.

The overview shows you your balance, profit, net annual return and a few more details on your investments. The rest of the menu items are pretty much self-explanatory.

When you want to invest in a loan, you also get quite a few details on the loan and it is presented in an easily understandable way:

For consumer loans, this is normally the level of information available, although I like platforms that have a bit more information on who/what you lend money to.

To be fair, their real estate loans offer much more detail with project description, pictures, loan details, etc. Here’s an example:

Adding to the level of information on the site, I also believe the net annual return overview could be slightly more detailed to understand the drivers of the return.

 

 

My return so far

My return on PeerBerry has been decent since I started investing with them.

I made a few errors with the autoinvest feature to begin with, so I didn’t get the highest interest loans on the platform.

My net annual return has been 10.3% before tax since I invested six months ago, but I believe it will be slightly higher in the future when my new autoinvest settings kick in:

I quickly managed to get my money invested in loans and they have been re-invested ever since, so I’m not experiencing cash drag as I have on other platforms.

How to make your first investment

It’s quite easy to make your first investment on the PeerBerry platform. You need 10 EUR to make your first investment as that is the minimum investment amount in a single loan.

If you do it manually, you can get a list of the loans by clicking on “Invest” in the menu. I add “buyback” as a filter and then I sort the loans from the highest interest rate to lowest interest rate.

In this case, the highest interest rate loans are around 12%:

You can click on the loan ID to learn more about that particular loan. When you have found a loan that suits you, you simply click “Invest”. Upon doing this, you will be redirected to a new page where you enter the amount you want to invest before you confirm the investment by clicking “Confirm”:

I always invest in the highest interest rate loans first, but if you don’t have the same risk appetite like me, you could consider going for some lower interest rate loans as well if they carry lower risk.

However, you don’t have to do all of this manually for each investment. PeerBerry has an autoinvest feature that can do this automatically for you, which I’ll go into next.

 

 

How to use the autoinvest feature

I spent quite some time getting to understand PeerBerry’s autoinvest feature to begin with.

The autoinvest feature allows you to automatically invest and re-invest in loans according to your preferred settings of:

  • Portfolio size: How much you want to invest with one particular autoinvest portfolio (I put in a high amount)
  • Maximum investment: The upper limit of much you want to invest in one loan (I have 10 EUR)
  • Interest rate (from/to): The interest rates you are willing to accept (I never have an upper limit and my lower limit is 12%)
  • Remaining loan term (days): The minimum number of days left in a loan you are willing to accept – I put in 30 days to avoid having to re-invest all the time
  • Remaining principal amount: The amount left for a loan to be fully invested you are willing to accept (I put this at 10 EUR)
  • Minimum funds in account: How much you want to have available for manual investing or withdrawal at all times (I leave this empty)
  • Loan status: How well the borrower is currently paying off the loan (I set this at “current” because I don’t want borrowers who are not paying on time)
  • Country: Which countries you want to invest in (I select all)
  • Loan originator: Which loan originators you want to invest in (I select all, but you might want to deselect some based on your risk preference)
  • Buyback guarantee: Whether you want loans with/without buyback guarantee (I always select with buyback guarantee)
  • Reinvest: Whether you want to reinvest (I always select yes)

A big drawback of PeerBerry’s autoinvest function is that there’s no way to prioritize different auto-invest portfolios. Ideally, I like to have multiple portfolios that start finding loans with high interest before moving on to portfolios with lower interest loans. Since that is not possible on PeerBerry, I only have one autoinvest portfolio set up that looks like this:

I messed up my settings to begin with and contacted PeerBerry’s support for an explanation of how it works. Here’s how they explain it:

“At the moment there is no ranking/prioritization of the auto-invest portfolios. All your active auto-invest portfolios would be added in a queue of auto investments and the system will try to fulfill all your active strategies. Which strategy will be fulfilled first depends on which of these two strategies was added into the queue first. The logic is set up with the FIFO method – the first strategies added into the queue are first executed. For each strategy that has been fulfilled, the other strategies will be first in line next.”

I asked them specifically about whether a single autoinvest portfolio would always select the highest interest rate loan available before lower interest loans, but that is unfortunately not the case:

“We consulted with our CTO and he clarified, that auto-invest would pick up loan which was added for listing earlier.”

While I like the PeerBerry autoinvest feature overall, I believe it has some drawbacks. First, I would like to be able to prioritize my portfolios. Second, I believe it should always select the highest interest rate loan available and not the “oldest” loan available.

Does PeerBerry have a secondary market?

No, currently PeerBerry does not have a secondary market.

Normally, I am a big fan of secondary markets as they allow you to withdraw your money, but in the case of PeerBerry, I don’t think they need one at the moment.

Since most of their loans have a duration of approximately a month, you are always just 30 days away from being able to withdraw your money. On other platforms, I am sometimes tied in for more than 3 years in an investment, but that is not the case on PeerBerry. Because of this, I don’t think they need a secondary market for now.

What are the pros and cons of PeerBerry?

PeerBerry is a great platform and I have been happy with my investments so far. If they continue developing the platform and adding new countries and loan originators as they have in the past six months, I will increase my investments in the platform in the future.

The advantages of the PeerBerry platform are:

  • Nice intuitive interface
  • Great returns compared to other investment types
  • Decent autoinvest feature
  • Buyback guarantee on (nearly) all loans
  • No money drag so far
  • Good amount of available loans
  • Good information level on real estate loans
  • Easy to withdraw money fast with short duration loans

PeerBerry also has some room for improvement with the following disadvantages:

  • Slightly lower returns compared to other platforms
  • Short duration loans requiring re-investments often
  • No secondary marketplace (although not required for now)
  • Limited transparency on who you lend money to
  • No prioritization possible in autoinvest feature

Overall, I have been very satisfied with PeerBerry so far and believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If the platform continues developing as it does, I believe it could become one of the bigger European platforms in the future.

What are the risks of investing in PeerBerry?

Investing in P2P lending (and other investment classes) always comes at a risk. I consider crowdlending a high-risk investment and I never invest more than 10% of my net worth in P2P lending.

The returns are great which is why I am still investing in it after three years. Even though I haven’t lost any money yet, I am not blind to the fact that it could happen in the future.

If you want to know more, I have written a bit about the risks of investing in P2P lending here.

One way to mitigate your risk is to spread your investments over multiple platforms, which is what I have done.

Who is PeerBerry for?

PeerBerry is a quite good platform for beginners as well as experienced investors. Its easy-to-use interface is a big plus if you are just starting.

I would say the platform is best for investors who have already invested in other P2P lending platforms and want to diversify their investments with a platform that is not yet over-crowded.

Some of the competing platforms often don’t have available loans, but I have had no cash drag on PeerBerry so far. The platform has always had available loans when I have checked. Even though the returns are slightly lower than on other platforms, this is a big plus for me.

On top of this, I have seen interest rates decline slightly on other platforms recently while the return levels have been quite consistent on PeerBerry so far.

The final verdict

So, the million-dollar question: would I recommend PeerBerry to friends and family?

The short answer is yes. I believe it is one of the better platforms in Europe. The platform comes with decent returns, one of the best interfaces I have seen, many available loans, quick support, an autoinvest feature and buyback guarantee on loans, which make it a good platform all in all.

This being said, PeerBerry, of course, has some things to work on, but it would not discourage me from investing in the future again.

 

 

Note: A few images have been edited and details omitted to maintain my anonymity, but all opinions are 100% honest and unbiased.

2 comments

2 comments

Martin October 5, 2019 - 23:09

Very good review, thanks for all information. I am interested about tax. Who do you pay tax? Lithuania, where Aventus Group is based, or your home country? On if that tax is more that interest rate, how all of this is even aplicable? Thanks for answer

Reply
Carl Jensen October 6, 2019 - 09:23

Good question. I can’t say for certain how it is in other countries, but I pay tax in Denmark. Not in the country where the platform is. The platform company pays tax in the country it is registered 🙂

Reply

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