January 2021 Update – Investment Returns

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my January update, where I will discuss my returns for December 2020. Sorry for the delay in getting this one out. The start of the new year was pretty hectic with work and family issues, so it’s obviously taken longer than expected to publish. Anyways, I’ll try and keep it short seeing as another update is due in a few weeks!

  • Since inception (Nov 2020) my American share portfolio returned returned 20.4% against the SPDR S&P 500 ETF which returned 8.76%
  • my P2P and Crowdlending investment profile returned an average of 1.17%, bringing my total for crowdlending to a return of 10.13% for 2020. My highest returns came from Fast Invest (5.77%), Crowdestor (1.60%), and Bondora (0.73%)
  • my Solar panel system generated 108 kWh of energy this month (paid out in BTC), bringing my total energy production to 611 kWh.
  • my total investment portfolio increased by 3.36% from last month.

Quick Summary

The main items that happened throughout December include:

Overall Asset Allocation

Here I provide a “big picture” of my asset diversification. I also drill down into the differences within my crowdlending portfolio

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Not so much is changing at the moment. Redistributing some funds from Crowdestor into The Sun Exchang.

Progress Towards Financial Freedom

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The above graph is not net wealth, but instead my progress towards a set goal for my investment portfolio.

This month I was able to increase my investment portfolio way over my proposed guideline. This month I had a net gain of 3%. This was due to the bull run we are currently having with the markets.

What is really encouraging to see is that I have beat my expected return for 2020 by just over 5%. I wasn’t expecting to hit this point until year 4. As long as I continue with my investment plan, I should now reach financial freedom much earlier than initially planned. However, I do understand that we are in a massive bull run at the moment, and that value can drop 20% quite easily. I am in it for the long haul, so I’m not worried.

I have been on the financial freedom path for a while, however, I have not documented my progress until now. Instead of using actual values, I am using percentages (with the goal being 100%). I have an initial conservative plan of 20 years and have provided a guide as to my current progress. You can also see my longer-term graph (i.e. the next 20 years) back on my main returns page.

Share Portfolio

As can be seen below, this month I extended my lead over the over SPDR S&P 500 ETF. Obviously this is early early days, however, my goal is to be able to match the fund, while also being able to generate passive income through dividends.

Now, my portfolio is not solely based on dividend companies. I do have other growth stocks that don’t pay dividends, however these are in other currencies and exchanges, and not a part of this account shown here.

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If you are interested to see the breakdown of the investments, please see the chart below. This month I did not add to any positions, but I did receive dividends from CVS, ABBV and MSM. I have a list of additional companies that I am interested in purchasing soon, however I am just waiting for a cheaper entry point.

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I will soon fill in the reasoning behind my purchases above, but the main overall drive for each of the companies are favorable prices, higher than average dividends, and most have a high rate of dividend growth. A lot of these purchases are also products of my readings – The Single Best Investment – Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth and Get Rich with Dividends: A Proven System for Earning Double-Digit Returns. I encourage you to have a look at both of these books (they are both free in pdf version) as they really outline a path to wealth (and a sleep easy portfolio) through dividend paying companies.

Additional to the above, I have two other accounts that are not shown – A “set and forget” account that invests a set amount each month into various index funds, and various accounts in other currencies and exchanges.

P2P and Crowdlending

My Returns in Crowdlending this month

This month saw my P2P and Crowdlending profile return on average 1.17%, which is much higher than what I have been receiving over the past 6 months. I am currently not focusing any more money into this passive income source at this time.

As can be seen below, the best performer in my crowdlending portfolio for 2020, was Reinvest24. This is followed by the consistent returns from Bondora, and then the last minute entry from Fast Invest. Crowdestor was the only other platform to bring in over 12% for the year.

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Crowdlending Summary

Returns this month
Returns This Year
Total Returns
>3 years
>2 years
>2 years
RateSetter (AU) (now Plenti)
>5 years
2 years
>1.755 years
>1 year

In December I was happy to see my returns finally coming back. However, some of the returns are on the lower side as I have turned most of my reinvest settings off, and not actively reinvesting the money. I was (and still am) slightly worried about the ability of borrowers to pay off loans while the whole Coronavirus pandemic plays out. This month I wont say too much about the platforms, as I will be bringing out another update in a few weeks. One surprising note was the massive pay-out from Fast Invest. It seems like they have caught up on most of their payments.

Here are the graphs and returns separated by platform –


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Plenti (previously RateSetter)

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Fast Invest

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The Sun Exchange

A few months ago, I purchased some solar cells from The Sun Exchange (if you use the affiliate link, then you will get 1 free solar cell on your first purchase!). The Sun Exchange is the world’s first peer-to-peer solar cell micro-leasing platform. If you are interested in finding our more about the sun exchange, please check out my full platform review.

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This month my cells were able to generate 108 kWh of energy (paid out in BTC), and I was able to purchase solar cells in the supermarket:

  • Nhimbe Fresh – Packhouse & Cold Store | 510.3 kW Solar + 1 MWh Storage | Marondera, Zimbabwe (IRR 16.71%)
  • Helping an agricultural leader install solar panels and (for the first time) an integrated battery storage.

There are three solar projects currently open, including:

  • Spar Plaza | 360.80 kW | Mokopane, South Africa
  • Spar Plaza, Mokopane is going solar to cut their energy costs, offset their carbon emissions and demonstrate sustainable energy to their community.
  • Watergate Apartments | 114.48 kW | Cape Town, South Africa
    A project to power affordable housing (897 homes and retail complex). IRR 11.65%
  • Nhimbe Fresh – Packhouse & Cold Store | 510.3 kW Solar + 1 MWh Storage | Marondera, Zimbabwe
    Helping an agricultural leader install solar panels and (for the first time) an integrated battery storage. IRR 16.71%

If you are seriously thinking about joining The Sun Exchange, the current Nibmbe Fresh project is hands down the one with the highest return on the platform (>16%). What makes it unique, is that its the project includes an integrated battery, which means that solar is being used 24 hours a day. Additionally the lease is denominated in USD (instead of South African Rand), and the lease payments are fixed per cell per month. You can find the information packet here, which contains everything you need to know.
Obviously do your own due diligence before investing.

My total energy generated through The Sun Exchange is currently at 611 kWh, which would allow me to drive 2,268 American miles in a Tesla Model 3 (just need to buy one first).

For some comparison, with 1 kWh you can, toast 160 slices of bread. So in that regard, I have generated enough power to toast 97,760 slices of bread.


Recently I invested in litigation funding through AxiaFunder. This is external to other platforms, as the income is not controlled by borrowers ability to pay a loan on time, the currency exchange rate, the markets, or other global health pandemics.

AxiaFunder connects investors with carefully pre-vetted commercial litigation opportunities. The platform invests in legal cases where there is a high probability of winning at court, with potential returns of 20%-30% pa. The only downside with litigation funding – returns are not guaranteed, there is a risk of loosing all of the investment if the case fails, and in some very extreme circumstances, could have to pay more than the amount you put in. (every case is insured, but if the insurance company was to default, then the investors would need to fund more of the project).

Projects are few and far between, and usually last for long periods of time >12 months.

Journey to 1 free Bitcoin

My journey is still an ongoing work in progress. Playing games, making Coin. This month I was able to put all of my updates and platforms into a single article, so I don’t have to reference each section every month! You can find the main article here – My Journey to One Free Bitcoin

Coinbase Earn

This month there are two new currencies that you can find on Coinbase Earn. You can earn up to $43 worth of BAND, and $3 worth of The Graph.

  • Band Protocol brings real-world data to blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, and Polkadot. Learn how it works and you’ll earn up to $43 in BAND tokens.
  • The Graph is a decentralized protocol for indexing and querying data from blockchains. Learn how it works and you’ll earn up to $3 in GRT tokens.

Here is how it works
You watch some short videos through Coinbase, on how various cryptocurrencies work. From there you earn various cryptocurrencies as a reward. I have earned some Ethereum (ETH), Stellar Lumens (XLM), EOS (EOS), Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), and Dai (DAI). I wrote an in-depth article that you can find here.

Brave Browser

I have been using the Brave Browser for the last couple of months. Find out here why I changed to a more secure and rewarding browser. Basically, you get paid to watch advertisements (if you choose to). It allows users to earn a bit of cryptocurrency and allows advertisers to promote materials to a more select crowd. Since I have installed the browser, I have blocked 656,181 trackers and ads, and saved 9.1 hours of loading time.

Money Savings 

With so much work, and not a lot of time to be on Twitter, so there haven’t been so many tweets

Progress on Internal Changes

In a past update, I made a pledge to update sections of my blog. I will keep this section here until these tasks are fully complete. The remaining tasks are:

  • (Priority #1) Adding a page outlining some basic steps for how due diligence can be performed. (started writing this)
  • (Priority #2) Adding a section to each platform review with my own due diligence.
  • (Priority #3) Placing stronger disclaimers within each platform review page saying how my interests lie within the article.
    (Note: currently, there are already disclaimers on all of the pages, however, I will look to have them as more of a focus) .

Socials and Traffic

Things seem to have remained steady this month

You read it all the way through to the end (or you just skipped half of it)! Regardless, thanks for checking out my update this month!
I do encourage you to comment below, and sign up for my newsletter. The newsletter comes out once a month and includes this update and any other articles published during the month.

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