Short interview on Kuetzal and Envestio cases

Yesterday evening got questions from Kristaps Mors. Because I invested the time answering, wanted to publish my answers here as well.

Kristaps writes:

I am compiling P2P blog author views on the situation after recent events. Would you be willing to comment these 2 questions? Ideally – couple of sentences for each that shows your main conclusions and that potentially could help others, but feel free to answer as short or as long as needed.

Keutzal and Envestio have shut down.

1. Any lessons learned?

2. Any changes to portfolio planned?

Here is my reply:

Dear Kristaps,

thank you for reaching out, I appreciate your effort. I hope many of fellow bloggers will join your interview.I hope this will be an open (no payment needed) article similarly as your latest ones. I would love to get your and other readers’ feedback.  
I have read your article about how much P2P bloggers lost in Kuetzal’s case https://kristapsmors.substack.com/p/how-much-did-the-p2p-bloggers-lose). It is really unfortunate case for all who invested with them and I can see why this is interesting for you to gather this kind of information. Maybe for pure interest and also for educating people that there is no 15%+ returns without taking a high risk.High risk is part of P2P as it is and was for crypto. Probably you also have been burnt back in the beginning of 2018. However, I must say and I think you will agree with me, that in investing there is only one free lunch – diversification. This is why I chose 5 platforms from the very beginning of my first investment back in 2018 (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2018/09/01/picking-the-right-platforms-for-first-investment/). Over the time I do change my mind and when I do, I post openly about it, e.g., Crowdestate’s case in September 2019 (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2019/09/08/crowdestate-review-after-1-year-of-investing/).

About Kuetzal

1. You could read more on my lessons in my Summary of returns December 2019 post (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2020/01/07/summary-of-returns-december-2019/) and Selection of Viventor post (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2020/01/08/choice-of-viventor/). Main reasons were previously mentioned diversification and quickly deteriorating image of Envestio. 
2. As you know, I had no investments with Kuetzal.

About Envestio

1. Those who read my blog have noticed that I do due diligence and I am questioning if I have suspicion of some sort. I had doubts about couple of the Envestio’s projects in February 2019 and I contacted the team to find out more (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2019/02/24/envestio-responds-to-my-findings/). Or just after Kuetzal’s fiasco again on Envestio and Monethera (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2019/02/24/envestio-responds-to-my-findings/). 
Other findings could be read about Crowdestor’s buyback (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2019/10/10/crowdestor-buyback-guarantee-max-cap/) and further looking into comparison table update (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2019/09/21/crowdlending-comparison-update-september-2019/) where I mention Kuetzal, Monethera and Wisefund.

Also Fast Invest is long bashed in community about their loan originator transparency issues.
Fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD) has always been part of the money game. An example of Krajbanka in Latvia. The liquidation process of Krajbanka started FUD for Swedbank. People withdrew all available money from ATMs within a weekend. The infamous bank run of Swedbank of 2011 (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/swedbank-no-liquidity-risk-from-latvia-bank-run-2011-12-12). For Envestio this created liquidity issue. In these cases all sides get hurt. Must admit that Swedbank did all they could to communicate and calm down their clients. Which unfortunately is not the case here.

2. For me it is too early to say. I will wait and react according to the situation – pragmatically like I feel I have done before. I closely follow Telegram group developments. If it all goes to court, let us see it through. One thing is can not be emphasized enough, diversification is the way forward. As Latvians have a saying “lai raža būtu labāka, mēslus vajag izkaisīt”. The same goes for the money.
On a weekly basis there are news on loan originators and projects from different platforms. Like in any investment market – be it crypto, stock picking, venture capital, if you want to take the risk and be part of the game you need to keep yourself updated. Question yourself and others and learn from your own and other’s mistakes. This is no newcomer but would like to remind everyone – never invest more than you can afford to lose, no matter how tempting the yield.

Also would like to give credit to you and my fellow bloggers, active readers and feedback givers and to thank them for their due diligence helping the whole community casting light in this new territory. Not everyone has the luxury time to keep up to date – moreover to dig through the rabbit hole.This is why we are stronger as a community.

Kindly,

Janis @ www.investingsmall.eu

5 comments

  1. Hi Janis!

    First of all, thanks for your blog!

    One question here, do you really think our money invested in Envestio is lost for good or there might be any chance to get it back? So far, their website is still MIA.

    1. Hi Martin!

      Wanted to create a post about this. There is a group in Telegram and persons organizing fundraising for taking law action (EnvestioDiscussion
      Discussion about current Envestio situation
      https://t.me/envestiodiscussion). If you want to participate please start with filling the form here: https://forms.gle/62DFLW7oBQ7hryV8A. Please read all the information before the contribution and do the due diligence. So far over 800 participants (including myself).

  2. After Envestio you understand that the greatest risk does not come from who you finance, but from the platform, which can disappear with your euros.
    € 4800 gone.
    Nobody controls anything.
    P2P a market without rules or controllers

  3. Hi Janis,

    I have lost with Envestio 5250 Euros [ deposited 2k in December 2019 ;( ] and I am curious from law perspective how possible it is to get anything back. Is the law suit going to be against owner of Envestio / Envestio?
    The way I see this is I understood the risks of investing in projects that may fail however I did not calculate whole operator (Envestio) disapearing with my money… This looks like Ponzi scheme and this should be presecuted.
    I am wondering about future actions. I am not sure about law suit because this will take ages to get anywhere with paperwork. The thing we need in my opinion is detective company with tracking experience to follow money trail. I do not know if Estonian police will do that or they will get burried under paperwork. Their statement claims that most possible scenario is that the money (22M Euros) were withdrawn with ATM’s, so I am curious how long this process took and how many bank accounts it included.
    What role previous owner of Envestio made and why he deleted all his details from the web. I hope police will act quick with investigation and freezing assets on related bank accounts.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Marcin,

      thanks for writing your thoughts here. You are alone in this one – there more than 14 000 others.
      As far as I understood the process will begin with means to declare Envestio as bankrupt. Thus being able to freeze its assets.
      Later (or in parallel), depending on what the Estonian police decides after evaluating all letters received about potential fraud, prosecution and questioning of employees can begin.
      I do not know if you are aware of Telegram group of which I wrote in a later article (https://www.investingsmall.eu/2020/01/27/possibility-to-join-legal-action-in-envestios-case/).
      There are arrangements already made with law firm which already this week has initiated the process of helping of gathering evidence and representing investors.
      First wave of people who were willing to join already pledged enough money to begin the process.
      As I understood there could be another wave, so if you are interested, try keeping yourself up to date in Telegram group – https://t.me/envestiodiscussion (be warned – there is a lot of off topic messages).

      Kindly,
      Janis

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