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Topics - brycemason

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P2P-Picks / P2P-Picks is off line
« on: June 30, 2015, 04:31:06 PM »

P2P-Picks / Closing P2P-Picks Newsletters and Your Alternatives
« on: June 08, 2015, 12:17:21 PM »
Dear Subscriber,

I am writing to share that effective June 30th, P2P-Picks newsletters will no longer be available for use. After three years of effort in this niche of finance, an opportunity has come along that I am compelled to take, which will require my full business time and attention. Starting on July 1st, I will be the Chief Investment Officer of Direct Lending Investments, one of the first private investment firms to focus on this space (

This decision comes with mixed feelings because in a small way, part of my opportunity has come as a result of your trust and use of my services. The P2P-Picks newsletters led to some of my first consulting jobs, which have multiplied over the last year and culminated in this new role. I regret that I have to let P2P-Picks go and deeply hope that you have had an enjoyable experience with the service. At the same time, I am excited to begin working for a fund, learning about other types of credit and still performing plenty of due diligence to ensure investments are sound.

To help you transition away from P2P-Picks, I have asked other service providers to create some alternatives for your consideration. P2P-Picks newsletters will not be available at any outlet; any other credit models are providers' own creations. Descriptions of the services are provided by the respective companies and listed in alphabetical order so as not to connote a preference.

Yours Sincerely,

Bryce Mason


BlueVestment's sole focus is to provide you with the fastest access to the Lending Club loans which match your investing strategies. With an innovative pricing model that allows you to make up to $1,000 of investments each month at zero cost, and the most flexible filtering options of any 3rd party tool, BlueVestment is a great way for P2P novices and pros alike to maximize their Lending Club returns.


LendingRobot helps maximizing returns in marketplace lending through full automation. Thanks to sophisticated machine-learning algorithms and a high performance cloud-based infrastructure, LendingRobot offers automated investment decision, automated execution, detailed performance analytics, as well as an unique solution to trade on the secondary market. LendingRobot is a SEC-registered Investment Advisor, and supports both Lending Club and Prosper marketplaces. P2P-Picks clients get $10,000 managed for free when signing up from the referral link.

NSR Platform

With over $85 million on platform, NSR Invest is the leading independent investment service for individual investors seeking p2p returns. To provide continuity to P2P-Picks users, NSR Invest has created NSR Picks which was developed using the same conceptual framework as P2P-Picks. Investors will find Loss Minimizer, Profit Balancer, and Profit Maximizer investment strategies for both Prosper and Lending Club. These strategies are not new; in fact, NSR Invest has been using them internally for over a year with great success. NSR Invest will be waiving fees for users who sign up for NSR Picks with under $20,000 of managed assets.  Learn more and sign up for NSR Picks at the link above.

If one was sitting on a lot of capital gains in stocks, he or she could conceivably sell enough to generate sufficient capital gains to offset P2P capital losses. Repurchase the shares immediately at a stepped-up basis. Wash sale rules don't apply on gains. What do you think? Is this a reasonable way of supporting a larger P2P portfolio?

Investors - P / "Missing" Funds
« on: March 01, 2015, 10:51:38 AM »
No funds are actually missing, I'm sure, but Prosper makes some decisions about when to count loans in the total account value. I'm trying to figure them out. One rule is that "Payoff in Progress" loans don't display in the total, but when the cash hits suddenly your account bumps back up. Is there a write-down for impaired loans? Any other reasons your account balance might shift around?

P2P-Picks / PeerTrader Support
« on: February 23, 2015, 10:01:01 PM »
PeerTrader, an order management system, now carries P2P-Picks publications for the Prosper platform.

P2P-Picks / Donation Page Up
« on: December 13, 2014, 07:22:24 PM »
A number of retail subscribers have asked for a way to donate and support server costs, taxes, and other business related items. We finally got around to putting a page up for those who are interested in making a gift. P2P-Picks has never and will never charge for its newsletter services to retail subscribers, so there is no expectation on our end. We make a modest profit by providing (the same) models to institutions and consulting services to platforms.

Investors - LC / LendingClub IPO Directed Share Program through Fidelity
« on: November 17, 2014, 04:09:37 PM »
Email Text -- Good thing I already have a brokerage account through Fido. Clicked the button in the email and it indeed had me log in and took me to the settings page, but some sort of positive confirmation would have been nice.

Lending Club IPO - Directed Share Program (DSP)
Dear Investor,

As you may know, Lending Club filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell common stock through an initial public offering (IPO). We currently expect to reserve a portion of our IPO shares for investors like you through a directed share program (DSP) administered by Fidelity Investments ("Fidelity"). To be eligible to participate, you'll need to open a brokerage account with Fidelity and meet certain suitability requirements.

In order for Fidelity to provide information regarding the procedures of the DSP to you, we need your authorization to share your contact information with Fidelity. By clicking "yes" you authorize us to share the name, email address, and phone number associated with your Lending Club account with Fidelity. Please ensure that your contact information is current and accurate in your Lending Club account. If you do not respond, you will not be contacted.

Confirm Your Email Address

Clicking this button will take you to the Settings section of your account, which will confirm your authorization that we share your contact information with Fidelity.

We are unfortunately unable to answer questions about the IPO, including share price, minimum and maximum DSP investment levels, or other details about the DSP at this time.

This email does not constitute an offer to purchase Lending Club stock - any offer to purchase Lending Club stock will be made solely by the underwriters pursuant to a prospectus. Whether or not an IPO occurs depends on many things including market conditions. Responding to this notice does not obligate you to participate in the DSP, nor is Lending Club obligated to offer DSP shares or ensure that you will receive DSP shares.

Please respond no later than 12:00 p.m. noon (PT) on Sunday November 23, 2014. IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO US BY 12:00 p.m. noon (PT) on Sunday November 23, 2014, WE WILL NOT SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH FIDELITY AND YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DSP.

A Registration Statement relating to Lending Club's common stock has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. The shares may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the Registration Statement becomes effective. This letter shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the shares in any State in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such State.

No offer to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the registration statement has become effective, and any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time prior to notice of its acceptance given after the effective date. A response to this email will involve no obligation or commitment of any kind.

Best regards,

The Lending Club Team

Investors - LC / LendingClub Files S-1 with SEC
« on: August 27, 2014, 02:21:14 PM »
Hot off the press, LendingClub filed their S-1 today. You can read the document at the SEC EDGAR tool. Update this thread with any interesting tidbits!

P2P-Picks / New LendingClub Parameterizations for Publications
« on: July 19, 2014, 12:55:05 PM »
Over the last year we've learned a lot about how to do credit modeling and how to build portfolios to meet client needs. There are two changes beginning at 10 a.m. today. First, the Profit Maximizer publication acts on C-F notes and the Loss Minimizer acts on A & B notes. This is only meant to partition the products and we want to assure our subscribers that we continue to perform risk modeling independent of LendingClub. Second, we've moved toward a risk-adjusted methodology, which reflects learning from our work with institutional clients. Developed more recently, the Prosper publications already behave in a similar fashion. The naming convention is exactly the same as before, "Top 5/10/25%." The graphic below illustrates the new selection method (where the dots are plotted is reflective of our proprietary credit model, which continues to improve).

Investors - P / Distressed Loans and Servicing Fee Exception Examples
« on: July 13, 2014, 12:14:08 PM »
I'm studying Prosper servicing fees and have a gap in my knowledge about how they work. I already understand how they are calculated when everything goes well (paid on or ahead of schedule). However, some colleagues have forwarded to me payment histories of notes that seem to suggest Prosper either delays or waives its servicing fees when a loan is in an impaired status. For example, if a loan is seriously late and a modest payment comes in but which is insufficient to bring the loan current, there may be no servicing fee.

I'm asking for more veteran Prosper lenders to share payment histories of some fully matured (e.g., 2010) loans that soured (and perhaps eventually recovered) so that I can fully understand the business logic used. If Prosper shared payment history data like LC, I wouldn't have to ask, but it seems this is my only way to learn. The Prospectus and the 10-K filing do not communicate any sort of exceptions about servicing fees.

Thanks for any help! If you do not wish to post, you can email me at brycemason //

P2P-Picks / Prosper Picks Active
« on: June 29, 2014, 03:50:55 PM »
P2P-Picks added a credit model for Prosper with two publications:

  • Profit Maximizer (Top 15%) -- B, C, D, and E loans
  • Loss Minimizer (Top 15%) -- AA and A loans

We elected not to publish a "Top" grading scale for Prosper until such time as the marketplace's fractional loan volume supports that decision. Both credit models pick a handful of loans each release.

These publications are available exclusively via our API (recall that the web interface for our publications is going away in very short order). We are actively pursuing third-party order management systems to integrate with our API for Prosper and LendingClub.

Buying on Prosper is a little different than LendingClub. Prosper releases fractional loans slowly over a 1-hour period on the following scheduled starting times (most loans come within the first few minutes of the hour). Our systems continuously download the listings, score them, and update our API. PMax picks appear to move quickly (with a number of 10% chunks being bought by institutions). LMin picks stick around much longer, although some 10% chunks are being purchased.

Monday - Friday: 9am and 5pm
Saturday - Sunday: 12pm

I am building a portfolio using the Loss Minimizer publication. Today I bought my first loan fraction.

P2P-Picks / LendingClub Picks Paused Pending API Changes
« on: June 20, 2014, 04:15:12 PM »
In mid-June, LendingClub made some changes such that users of its website received access to new loans substantially more quickly than users of its API. As P2P-Picks is reliant on the API to automate its processes, this information gap has caused pick volume to decline precipitously. Thus, we are suspending the picking process until LendingClub has made improvements that enable us to resume our practices.

P2P-Picks / Web Picks Going Away
« on: June 18, 2014, 06:11:38 PM »
LendingClub loans are getting funded within seconds and P2P-Picks subscribers who access our picks using the web page more often than not experience too many delays to have a good user experience. So, over the coming weeks, we will be deprecating the web publication front end and all of our picks will be available exclusively through our API. This will reduce costs on our end (from serving up so many web pages as user madly refresh pages trying to find the exact second picks are published) and it will also be faster and allow for more automation. Currently we have a partnership with BlueVestment to serve up our picks and are seeking additional partnerships with Nickel Steamroller, Orchard, NoteX360, and other private developers. If you would like to make a DIY solution, please inquire.

Investors - LC / Loan Information Asymmetrical Timing
« on: June 14, 2014, 11:52:15 AM »
Debated posting this, but so many ramifications I felt it best to do so. Original post in my forum. Reported here for broad applicability. The question has been why my systems (and I imagine those of many) have been less capable of doing business since the latest LC change. I detail the change and consequences below.

The issue is that P2P-Picks relies on LC providing its loan application data via the CSV or API, and that these are no longer the most timely way to get loan application data. It is affecting me personally and all of my clients, too, and there isn't much I can do about it except complain to LC, which I have done.

It used to be that when you clicked the link to get the CSV, LC would instruct its systems to generate a fresh CSV based on the loan applications that were available at that very moment. This, I imagine, was expensive for them when thousands of people were clicking at the magic hours. Hence why we saw rate limiters in place last November. In the last few days, they moved to a model of linking to a static CSV available for download that is updated for freshness just once every minute. While this relieves the stress off their servers, it has had some unintended (or perhaps intended) consequences.

Here is the rub. LC releases the loans onto their platform around 30-40 second after the hour. The loans are available to website users a full 20-30 seconds before they ever even appear in the CSV. The API has always been out of date a number of seconds, just like the CSV is now. Now, the absolute fastest way to get loan application data is to use the website interactively via their filter processes (or to screen scrape for automation). This puts all of us who want to do active loan selection in a position of either sitting at our terminals every release twitching like some kid playing a video game or breaking the rules (even more than we already have to do) and resorting to screen scraping loan data off the website in order to automate things. Of course, the web pages don't even have a majority of the credit variables anyway, so this may be of limited value.

I have witnessed this occur on both the fractional and whole loan side. Reliably, at 30 after the hour, new loans will appear. Within a few seconds, the "good stuff" (to the extent you wish to believe in such a concept) is either purchased outright (in the whole loan market) or is mostly already full (on the fractional side) by the time the other two loan data retrieval methods are updated. Here is an example from 6pm a couple nights ago to illustrate:

5:55:00 - Initial count: 31 whole loans on platform
6:00:05 - Unused whole loans expire (12 hour rule): 19 whole loans on the platform
6:00:30 - 170 new whole loans added to platform (as viewed from the webpage) - total inventory = 189
6:00:45 - 24 whole loans disappear off the platform - total inventory = 165
6:01:00 - browseNotes.csv and LoansBrowseLoans update with just 165 whole loans in them

Why would LC do this? I don't want to go into pet theories, even though I have some, before allowing LC a chance to respond. And to be clear LC is absolutely still providing an even playing field. Same rules for everyone. It's just that this change has benefitted a certain type of user (the twitching kid or the scraper).

My recommendation is to synch the timing of all forms of loan application data, website, CSV, and API. If the Royal Bank of Canada wrote Thor to synchronize orders across multiple stock exchanges, I'm pretty sure this is a feasible request.

P2P-Picks may be down for a number of loan loads beginning 11 Jun 2014 6 a.m. LC changed the way that users may retrieve the loan application data. This number may be 0 as we've attempted to adjust our scripts to account for the new method of downloading. However, it may take more than 0 attempts to debug our approach. Please bear with us.

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