Saturday, July 20, 2013

Peer to Peer Lending - 1.5 Years Later

So I obviously did not keep up with the monthly peer to peer lending entries. Life, work, lack or interest, etc.  But I never stopped the investments. Well, that's not entirely true, I decided to wind down my Prosper account and stick with Lending Club as my primary source. Primarily just because I seem to understand LC better.

So where do things stand these days? Let's review!


Please note that the status chart above looks worse than it actually is since I've been withdrawing all payments from the platform rather than reinvesting. If you kept the charge off in proportion it should be ~1/2 the size it appears.

Payments received: $3,783.33
Principal paid off: - $2,661.69
Payments in excess of principal: = $1,121.64
Principal charge-offs: - $793.16
Gain/loss to date: = $328.48

Principal value of active notes: $2,245.15
Total active notes: 130
Current: 120
Past due (1-30 days): 6
Past due (31+ days): 3
Payoff in progress: 1
Total charged-off notes: 37
Total notes paid in full: 48
Total notes sold: 0

Yes, you read that correctly, 37 charged off notes. Generally speaking Prosper's default rate tends to trend higher than LC's. This isn't terribly surprising since Prosper accepts higher risk (and higher interest) loans. (For comparison of default rates, check out Nickel Steamroller's chart.) But even then this rate is more than twice as high as my LC account, so I should, perhaps, chalk this up to less sound portfolio filtering and strategy on my part.

That said, my return is ~5.65% and I've still made a vastly greater return than if I'd left this sitting in my ING (Well... now it's Capital One 360 -- really? Man that's a... name.) account. I'm fully aware that I tried Propser first and that it was a learning experience. If I'd try LC first this whole write up may have looked very different and maybe I'd be winding down LC instead. Even so, I plan on continuing to wind down the Prosper account and focusing solely on LC.

Lending Club

LC has been very good to me these last many months.

My return is ~11.35% as of writing this. I've had 16 notes charged off total. I've also taken common P2P investing advice and begun selling late notes on FolioFN for appropriate discounts to par. Selling late notes is critical, it has already improved my return by 1%, and considering that's often better than the entire yield of a 'high-interest' savings account these days, that's nothing to sneeze at. 


A number of websites have come and gone for analyzing the P2P loan base. Lend Stats is perhaps one of the most well known that comes to mind. The fact that both Prosper and Lending Club transparently offer information on their entire loan base means that anyone can try their hands at data analysis. The new space that's popping up, however, are "premium" (read: paid) analysis shops. There's Interest Radar and Nickel Steamroller Premium. I've been using IR for the last month or so. The site leaves much to be desired in terms of eye candy and web 2.0 functionality, but I do like the solid filtering and in-house scoring systems.  I have not used NSP yet, but I plan on it. From the descriptions they put forward it seems that the scope of what they're trying to achieve probably exceeds that of IR and will do so at a lower price point.

By the above I mean that NSP sounds like they are going to aim for fully automated investing, active management (perhaps automatically selling notes? that'd be nice), etc. IR is more about giving you the analysis tools that LC refuses to. Such as very specific filters (sometimes you don't want 20-25, sometimes you want 23.5, try telling LC that) and custom filtering options.


I'm coming up on two years in the peer to peer space, I'll hit that mile stone come December. At this point, I'm thoroughly sold. I plan on funneling my small savings account into LC and getting fully invested. (I should note that this is not my primary savings account, I do have a well-rounded emergency fund, and I'm not committing fiscal lunacy.) The risk to reward factor here is too compelling to ignore. Yes, the default rates could get considerably worse should we hit another economic downturn (just look at the default rates for LC during the 2007-2008 period) and so, in that respect, it is not at all comparable to a classic idea of savings. But I am young and can afford to take on more risk, and this is not my only venue of investment. My stock returns often beat my P2P returns, but I think from a risk and diversification perspective P2P lending has a solid place in anyone's portfolio.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

AnyBackup 1.0.0 Released

It's been about a year since I last did anything with AnyBackup -- that's not because I lost interest, but rather because it'd simply been working and did everything I wanted it to.

I finally mustered up some motivation to make some improvements, though. I spent the last week straight overhauling the codebase. I unit tested all the major non-UI modules and while I was at it I refactored all the code for sanity and for PEP styling issues. This took way, way longer than adding new features (not surprising).

Since it's been a year I figured why not do this in style and make this a milestone 1.0.0 release.


  • Unit tests (hopefully less bugs and less breaks in the future)
  • Display transfer rates and total copy progress
    • It's a little rough, and transfer rates are calculated in a very naive way, but it's better than nothing
  • Warn users when a backup is going to delete old files from any backup drives
  • Proper threading model
    • Previously threads were killed on demand via a nasty kill/hack and it did not ensure consistent data, etc
    • New model nicely requests thread death and long running thread processes have been refactored to comply
  • Code clean up, PEP style conventions
  • Migrate from Pyro3 -> Pyro4
    • Pyro4 has async calls which is needed for the proper threading model mentioned above

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Metro 2034 - English Fan Translation

Word on the street (or rather the Last Light forums) is that there's going to be an official Metro 2034 English translation released. Well... the rumor has it that the translation was already supposed to be released. Obviously that hasn't happened yet. This rumor began circling unbeknownst to me, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing what I'm about to post here.

But without further adieu, I give you a cleaned up version of Metro2033Artjom's fan translation of Metro 2034!

There are some pretty big caveats:

  • It's no more accurate than the original fan translation (probably a good deal less so)
  • There were a few sentences I couldn't make heads or tails of so I scrapped them
  • I may have butchered a passage here and there thatI thought I understood
  • It's probably been colored/influenced/altered significantly by my style and humor
With that warning out of the way (and if you're still reading) I'll get to the good bits. I cut out a staggering amount of awkward phrasing and confused verbiage. (And probably introduced a few of my own, but shhhh... were't not talking about that!) I tried to throw in common (American) English idioms where I could and rearranged sentence structures that tweaked my brain. I may have had a little too much fun with Leonid's dialog in places, but what can I say? I like the character.

If you think my copy is crap (hey it's a free internet... or not, depending on your country) feel free to peruse the original fan translation here. I take no credit for this original translation, just the subsequent editing and interpretation I provide here. It was translated to English from the official German translation. If you're wondering what that can do to literature... I'll let this video do the talking:

Anyway, as I'm sure you've skipped everything above, here are the download links:

Let's all hope they actually do release an official English translation. I've got my fingers crossed!

P.S. To any lawyery-types. If there are copyright concerns here, please contact me, it was not my intention.