What is Go & Grow
Go & Grow is an investment service offered by the P2P investment platform Bondora, which allows investors to invest in an investment account paying 6.75% p.a. Investors are able to track returns on a daily basis, and any investment can be liquidated at any time. The investment is catered for people looking for lower risk, fast liquidity and automated features. Read my review about Bondora here and about P2P investing here.
The Advantages of Using Go & Grow
Having your money invested in the Bondora Go & Grow account provides the following benefits:
- A constant net return of up to 6.75% p.a.
- Faster liquidity
- Lower risk
- Small outlay – invest with a minimum of €1
- Tax-efficient investing
- Shared access to your Go & Grow account with the people you trust
- Goal creation with regular progress updates.
The Disadvantages of Using Go & Grow
- Much smaller return than if you were to invest in those risk classes yourself
- High risk as there are no return assurances
- The net return of 6.75% is not guaranteed
Go & Grow Terms and Conditions
As with all products there are terms and conditions that you must familiarise yourself with. I have provided a quick summary in bullet point form. The whole risk statement provided by Bondora can be found here.
- Returns can vary. There is no guarantee that future performance of the fund will match past performance. Returns are capped at 6.75% even if investments in the same funds return more.
- Possible reduction of value, no growth in assets or complete loss. All investment returns depend on how borrowers meet their payment obligations. The amount of money you receive may be less than the amount you invested.
- Delayed payments. Payment to you after exiting Go & Grow may be delayed if there is insufficient funds available.
- Not guaranteed. Invested funds are not guaranteed by any government or otherwise.
- Possible abuse. If you provide another person with access to your Go & Grow account, and they withdraw funds, you will be liable for tax purposes.
- Less control. You can not sell specific claim rights, only a percentage of your portfolio. You can not determine rates for investments to be bought or sold.
- Taxes and specific tax implications should be discussed with a taxation specialist before investing.
There are also other general risks to investing that you should also be familiar with before investing through Bondora or any other asset class.
What is the Difference Between Go & Grow and Other P2P Investments?
Go & Grow allows investors to liquidate their investment when they choose, where as traditional P2P investments generally must wait for the loan to reach completion, or for their investment to be sold on a secondary market.
When you invest in Go & Grow, you don’t invest in specific loans, but instead invest in Bondora who will then allocate you money where they see fit. When you decide you have had enough, you are able to request your money to be withdrawn (for a small fee), and any interest returned over the period of your investment is payed out to you. Another difference is the tax deferral that the Go & Grow account offers. For instance, an investor will only pay taxes when they have taken out more than they initially put in (classed as a capital gain). The investor does not have to pay taxes on each interest payment.
Disclaimer: I am not a tax specialist, so you will have to do your own research and talk to a tax professional to see how the Bondora Go & Grow will affect your personal tax situation.
How is the Go & Grow Portfolio Made up?
Bondora oversees the placement of an investors funds and allocated these funds into different risk loans. In the recent update from Bondora, the portfolio composition is as follows. Loans with a risk of:
- AA-B makes up 11% of the portfolio
- C, D and E each take up ~15%
- F makes up 37%
- And HR makes up 5%
Any return that Bondora makes over the 6.75%, will be reinvested and added to reserves to ensure continuation of the 6.75% return.
At this stage, Bondora offers investors a flat return of 6.75% through their Go and Grow account. However, this is much less than the advertised average rate of 10.6% p.a. Looking at the statistics, approximately 40% of the investors not using Go & Grow, are currently are earning more than 10%.
Any return that Bondora make above the 6,75% will be reinvested and added to reserves to ensure the continuation of 6.75%, and to support the liquidity in the product.
Based on further statistics provided by Bondora (and the distribution pie chart above), we can estimate how much Bondora will make, compared to how much you would earn if you invested in the same types of loans.
Here is the expected return that is provided as part of the Bondoras statistics.
Taking the expected returns, and combining those with the Go & Grow product distribution (provided in the January 2019 update above), we can estimate how much Bondora will make. For this example, I used € 1,000.
|Risk Class||Expected Return||Go & Grow Distribution
|How € 1,000 would be distributed||Return if Invested through Go & Grow||Return if invested outside Go & Grow|
|AA||8.70%||1%||€ 10||–||€ 0.87|
|A||8.45%||2%||€ 20||–||€ 1.69|
|B||9.29%||8%||€ 80||–||€ 7.43|
|C||10.59%||14%||€ 140||–||€ 14.83|
|D||12.24%||16%||€ 160||–||€ 19.58|
|E||13.67%||17%||€ 170||–||€ 23.24|
|F||18.50%||37%||€ 370||–||€ 68.45|
|HR||17.98%||5%||€ 50||–||€ 8.99|
|∑||€ 67.50 (6.75%)||€ 145.08 (14.5%)|
As can be seen in the graph, it is estimated that Bondora will earn 14.5% on your money, and pay out 6.75%. This leaves 7.75% that Bondora can reinvest or use for continuation of the 6.75% return.
Initially this is OK during the Go & Grow set up phase (as they need funds to ensure the continuation of the product and need to be able to pay out investors that exit the product). However, after a few years, once there is enough cash to pay out investors exiting Go & Grow, I would expect to see that percentage return go higher, or alternatively another way to distribute that money to investors.
Furthermore, the 14.5% return for investing outside Go & Grow is theoretical based on the statistics provided. The return could be much lower (or higher) for any reason, for any period. The 6.75% return that Go & Grow offers could be a safe percentage while the product becomes established.
Go & Grow Costs
Set up costs 0
Annual management fees 0
Setting up Go & Grow
An investor can easily access and change their product choice from their dashboard. To get into the Go & Grow product, you need to click on your name in the top right-hand corner and select “Product Choice”.
From there, you can manage which profiles are currently active. You are also able to create a custom product to suit your needs. Once you have added Go & Grow, press “Activate”, and you should be able to see the product on the left-hand window pane. If you are unable to see Go & Grow, then you have not successfully added it to your products. Once you have added Go & Grow, you should be met with the welcome screen that prompts you to set up your portfolio.
You will be prompted through a few steps which will ask for you to describe a reason that you are investing with Go & Grow. The idea here is that having a purpose for investing helps investors remember why they are investing in the first place.
Once that is done, you can modify your account and set up a plan on how much you will start investing, for how many years, and if you will add money along the way.
If you have other accounts running, you will be asked if you will pause them or keep them active.
You are able to add money from either your current Bondora portfolio, or you can use other accepted methods such as TrandferWise, Trustly, Visa or S€PA.
Once you have confirmed all of that, you are met with your dashboard. The dashboard shows how much you have added, gained and your return percentage. The dashboard also shows the progress towards your goals (if set).
To withdraw the money you need to get out of the product, and select “Withdraw” from the left-hand menu. Once you select what payment type, you can then select your account and were to send the money. You will see that there is a € 1 fee associated.
Go & Grow Review
The Go and Grow product offered by Bondora is quite new to this space and adds some great features that other P2P investment platforms are unable to offer – mainly fast liquidity and delayed tax.
Whether Go & Grow is suitable for you will depend on what features you find most important:
- If you are interested in liquidity or tax deferred payments than Go & Grow may be for you.
- If you are interested in higher returns (and minimal more work on your part), and don’t mind having your money locked up, then look towards other platforms offering over 10% with buyback guarantees.
To find other platforms offering over 10% with buyback guarantees and reinvestment options, have a look at our article comparing the best European P2P investment platforms.