As an investor looking for cashflow, investing in loans can provide some nice cash as we navigate through this rough economic environment while helping businesses in the process.
Since SeedIn can provide services for both borrower and lender (investors), we are going to review SeedIn in the eyes of an investor.
Investing in SeedIn
How do we earn money from SeedIn?
SeedIn helps businesses get funding for their business through crowdfunding. And the cash that gets loaned out are provided by investors such as ourselves. In other words, we provide business loans and in return we earn interest.
How much interest can you earn investing in SeedIn?
Since this is a business loan, it goes well into the average range of what a business loan should go for which is around 10% to 15% per annum. But you can pick the interest (return on investment) that you like inside their platform.
Some of you might be put off by the “low” interest. But this is actually a good thing as most online scams would give you insane interest to entice you to join. SeedIn is going by industry standards for business loans which means they are following lending rules.
Is Investing in SeedIn Safe?
Let’s just say that investing in any kind of assets have risks. But value investing, we need some kind of margin of safety. In investing in bonds or loans, we should look for some kind of a collateral or a guarantee that loans can be paid.
Let’s look at an example of a loan that we could invest in SeedIn.
Almost all of the loans that you can invest in SeedIn have collaterals, approved by their in-house credit analysis and have the personal guarantee of the business owner.
Let’s explain each one of those terms.
- Pledged Collateral – When the loan can not be paid, SeedIn will sell the collateral and pay the investors. So this is the worst case scenario and your money would still be returned to you since the collateral can be sold.
This is like a house on mortgage where if you can’t pay the monthly payments, the bank can foreclose and sell your property so they can get the money back. Pledged Collateral is the same thing although it can be anything like inventories, cars and vehicles, and not just a house owned by the business.
- Approved by Credit Risk Committee – In lending institutions, you can find that there are people who would investigate the credit history of the borrower. SeedIn does that in-house to make sure that the borrower has the ability to pay. Reducing the risk for us the investors.
- Personal Guarantor – It means the borrower / owner has its personal assets at stake. If the collateral is not enough, the personal guarantor has to provide the remaining balance by selling their own assets. So its like a layer of protection for the lending investors.
Is SeedIn SEC Registered?
Is SeedIn SEC Registered? Short answer is yes.
One of the risk in using crowdfunding as an investment vehicles is that there are a lot of scams. The experience with Organico and Kappa is one of those and I’m sure there are lots of others that haven’t made it to the news.
So its important to look and ask for legal documents showing that they won’t be shutdown by the government.
That is the online website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for requesting legal copies of companies (https://secexpress.ph/). I just did a quick search and SeedIn is there since 2017. Records show that SeedIn is legit. SeedIn is SEC Registered. So you don’t have to worry about SeedIn being a fly-by-night scam operation.
I know a lot of people are on the fence about SeedIn not registered by the SEC. But I think they are. I have talked to their customer service and they were honest about it, during the earlier days, they don’t have papers as the rules for crowdfunding were not yet polished. But now, I think they are on the right track.
So if you’re convinced that SeedIn is legit and you want the passive income and diversification that it offers, let’s proceed on how to create your account with SeedIn.
How to Join SeedIn Philippines
You can go to the SeedIn registration page to create your account and fill out the forms.
Just follow this form and fill out the necessary details and you’ll be all set.
Requirements for Qualified Investor at SeedIn
Be sure to prepare the necessary documents that SeedIn may ask for to create and activate your account. You can also provide the documents later.
These documents includes:
- Valid IDs
- A Bank Certificate – A letter from the bank that verifies that you have an account with them. Just ask your bank to provide you one.
You might be asking, Why do you need this? Because when you decide to withdraw your earnings from SeedIn, you will need to deposit it to a bank account. So SeedIn just wants to make sure you really do have a bank account and its not deposited to the wrong one.
- Billing statement – credit card bills, internet bills, utility bills
Features of SeedIn for Investors
Ability to choose from a wide range of loans, interest and maturity
There are lots of features for SeedIn investors. As I said earlier, you can choose the kinds of loans to invest in. You can choose one and go all in or spread your money to different kinds of loans with varying interest rates and maturity.
Right now, these loans get funded fast and once it reach 100%, you will no longer be able to invest in the said loan. You might have to pick other loans or wait for a new one.
Luckily, they will email you if there new loans published.
SeedIn Alfred Auto Invest
The biggest problem with SeedIn is that loan investment gets funded to 100% very fast. And people that are late to be notified usually find themselves left out of the party and can not invest.
This problem (which is a good problem btw) is solved by the Alfred Auto Invest feature in SeedIn.
Alfred Auto Invest will invest your available money to any new loan investment that meets your criteria.
To activate this feature, just login and click on the “Alfred Auto Invest” link on the sidebar.
Once you click that link, you’ll be redirected to the Alfred Auto Invest page.
Click on the “Add Rule” to create a new rule for investing.
This is the page for creating a new rule for Alfred. As you can see, you can set Alfred to invest immediately at loans meeting your criteria, including the interest and maturity, as well as the industry the borrower is in. Everything is totally up to you.
Here is my rule called “Hamlet Rule” as an advice by a father to his son in Shakespear’s Hamlet. You can copy it if you like.
The idea behind Hamlet’s rule is to not lend money for the long term. Of course you can edit it to your liking. This is just my preference.
Once you set up Alfred Auto Invest and activated it, Alfred will invest your money when a new loan is published and meets your critera. That way, you won’t get left out. You can turn it off anytime if you wish to invest manually. Personally, I just enable it and leave it alone so it auto invest as soon as interest payments come. Auto-compounding at work.
SeedIn Manual Investing
If you don’t want to use Alfred Auto Invest, you can turn it OFF and manually invest. Just click on a loan and enter the amount you want to invest.
Enter the amount you want to invest and you’ll be all set.
How to Top Up / Deposit Money to Your SeedIn Account?
How do you top up or deposit money into your SeedIn account so you can start investing?
SeedIn have different payment types. And the minimum amount that you can invest is P1,000.
- Bank Transfer – Direct Bank deposit
- Online Banking – BPI, BDO etc
- Mobile Wallet – GCash etc
- Over the counter – 7eleven, M Lhuiller etc
Choose this option if you’re going to send the payment via bank and will provide documents to SeedIn like proof of deposit or receipt.
Choose Online Banking option if you would like to send payment to SeedIn using the online transfer feature of your bank. Just pick your bank and follow the instructions. It is the most convenient way for me personally.
You can use Mobile Wallet option if you want to use your Gcash account. As well as Coins.ph, WeChat Pay, Alipay or Union Pay.
Over the Counter
Choose this option if you want to pay over the counter like 7 Eleven or M Lhuiller.
Do people earn from SeedIn?
Are they able to receive the money or are they just a scam? Turns out, people don’t have any problems with depositing and withdrawing their earnings from SeedIn.
Personally, I don’t have any problems with them. I deposited and withdrew money with them with no problems.
SeedIn Referral Program
If you refer your friends to invest in SeedIn, you get to earn money. Its not much and you only earn 1% of what they earn but I think this is just a bonus. This 1% referral commission is actually not written on the website, I have to contact SeedIn to know this info.
To join SeedIn Referral program you must first have an account then copy your referral link to share to your friends.
The Bad Side of Investing in SeedIn
Knowing all the good side of an investment is half the battle. We all know its good to have passive income and have 12% more in interest per annum, but we also have to think about the downside.
Aside from the disadvantage of each loan defaulting, there’s also the fees. Let’s talk about them one by one.
Loan default means that the borrower is not able to make payments. So your money might not get returned. Its the problem of every lender. But since SeedIn have the in house credit risk committee, collateral and personal guarantee, I think the loan default scenario is limited.
In fact, I have not yet encounter a loan default with SeedIn in the half a year I have been investing with them. Even with this Covid pandemic, I always get paid, and on time. So I say that loan defaults are limited. Even experiences from friends who have been using SeedIn for years now, they haven’t encountered any loan defaults yet.
If you have experience with loan defaults on SeedIn, please let me know in the comment section below.
SeedIn provides the platform, analyze the borrowers if they are fit to lend to, and manages the collection of payments. This in turn, they ask a 10% fee for using their system from the interest or dividends that you earn. This is on top of the 20% withholding tax that the government take from your earnings.
I think its just normal for businesses to ask for fees for using their platform. And I’m happy to pay 10% for managing and collection of payments. The 20% tax from interest income from the government, we have nothing we can do about. But 10% fee for me is fine.
Gets Funded Quickly
Every loan investment gets funded quickly. This is a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing because the faster a loan gets funded, the earlier you can get your money to work and receive the interest income.
But its also a bad thing in a sense that if you’re late to know, you won’t get invested. But that’s what Alfred Auto Invest is for.
Since the stock market has crashed, I have been looking at some fixed income investments to add to the cashflow that we may need to take advantage of the low prices of stocks. These cashflow can be acquired by investing in bonds, real estate rent or fixed income such as these loans from SeedIn.
For me, SeedIn is a viable alternative to bonds since bonds have a very low interest rate. But of course, the higher the return, the higher the risk and as you saw in this guide that SeedIn has risks.
As a value investor, SeedIn has a place in my portfolio. Its not a majority though, but its enough to add some more cash generating income so that I can pile up cash much quicker. All this cash of course would get invested in stocks. But building your income stream with SeedIn, I think is a wise choice. What are your alternatives anyway? 2% in bonds? 🙂
So that’s my SeedIn review, I hope it helped you decide if you should invest in SeedIn or not. If you have any questions, feel free to use the comment section below. You might also want to read my eToro review, if you’re planning to invest in the US.