BlueVestment is a third party tool for automation with LendingClub. Recently, they have made their product completely free for investors. Not only does the tool allow you to select your own custom filters, but it also ties into P2P-Picks for loan picking - a feature that I’m currently using. (If you haven’t heard of Bryce Mason from P2P-Picks, you may also be interested in the podcast he did with LendAcademy here)
Nathan from BlueVestment was nice enough to participate in our third part in a series of posts about third party tools. If you have any questions for Nathan, please feel free to post in the comments.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with p2p lending as well as how BlueVestment came to be?
A: BlueVestment was born out of my frustration for getting loans and bad decisions. It’s something that I’m sure everyone in the P2P investment world has experienced at some point. When I first started, I put a chunk of money in my account and the moment it was available to invest I would invest in every loan that matched my criteria. Unfortunately that only invested maybe $375 worth of my investable available cash. So I would start to loosen up my criteria. Perhaps if I open it up to riskier opportunities or read somebody’s sob story regarding a medical loan request I can invest another $600 before running out of available loans. Rinse and repeat. Now I have all my money invested a little faster but as I look over the hundreds of notes I have I see lots of questionable decisions. As time goes on, I realize that they are no longer questionable but outright bad decisions.
Making BlueVestment (originally for myself) I found “cured” me of that temptation. I knew that once I set a strategy it would run until all my money was invested. I no longer felt the overbearing desire to have it all invested all at once. Call it DCA vs LSI but it has really helped my portfolio. Once more people became interested in what I was doing, BlueVestment as it is known today was born.
Q: What most excites you about social lending?
A: The level of risk-adjusted returns. I’d be lying if I said anything didn’t excite me more than that fact. I think that the level of returns will drop as they reach an equilibrium but at the moment, it’s exciting to be part of a new endeavor that promises such high rate of returns while maintaining diversification.
Q: Why did you decide to change BlueVestment to a free service? Do you plan to always offer it for free?
A: I decided to move BlueVestment to a free service for a few reasons. Charging became a hassle. Honestly it did. Tracking people down who’s card declined and dealing with invoicing can be a lot of work. However most importantly, I felt that with Lending Club PRIME coming out offering “free” service who’s value-added is questionable, average users deserve a way to be on par with other more savvy investors. I don’t foresee changing the free model for the foreseeable future.
Q: Can you tell us what security measures you are taking with Lending Club credentials?
A: I don’t want to speak too much about it. Suffice it to say that there is a proper and industry standard level of encryption, data separation, and permission standards.
Q: Any plans for Prosper automation?
A: I’d like to but I don’t have plans at the moment.
Q: How did the partnership with P2P-Picks come to be?
A: Bryce Mason (p2p-picks) and I started talking when I emailed him one day asking if he was interested in a joint endeavor. I felt it would be a good partnership to pair up his outstanding picking service with an automated investment service. He and I became fast friends and I’m constantly impressed by his dedication to P2P-Picks and his customers. I’m honored to be working with him and his team and ecstatic when I get to see the quality of his work and his product.
Q: Can you tell us how many people use their own filters vs. utilizing P2P-Picks?
A: There are a lot of people using P2P-Picks filters but they still aren’t the majority yet. They do make up a healthy chunk of the population though (and growing).
Q: Have you noticed increased competition when it comes to automation? Any issues so far?
A: There have been a couple new faces that have popped up. It’s a risky business because managing people’s money requires a lot of responsibility and a quality product. I also feel like Lending Club may not be big fans at the moment.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about auto listing at-risk notes? How does it work?
A: At-Risk notes is a term I’ve coined and applies to all notes that are in grace period or are late. The system will list them for sale according to your specified valuation criteria (rules you specify which state how much to sell each note for). They are listed each day they are At-Risk and only for one day. This is done because the value of each note fluctuates daily.
Q: Are there any new features in the pipeline you can share?
A: I’m working with Lending Club to try to come up with a system that allows the user to not have to give BlueVestment their log in credentials but at the same time, allow the BV system to perform investment actions.
Q: Where do you see BlueVestment going in 2014?
A: I’d like to see BlueVestment continue to grow at the rate it has. It has been an outstanding 2013 and projections indicate a continuance of that.
Q: Any other information you would like to share with our readers?
A: Invest early and invest often =).
I have been trying out BlueVestment for about a week now and have been really happy with the results. It was simple to setup and link to my P2P-Picks account. If you’re interested in automating your investing it is hard to beat what BlueVestment is offering for free. Again, if you have any questions - please feel free to leave them in the comments.