Crowdfunding: why its returns suck

This post is in an occasional series of blog posts (starting here) examining angel investing and the role it plays in high net worth peoples’ investment portfolios. This post looks at the ‘angel investing goes mainstream’ route of investing via crowdfunding platforms, drawing on an exclusive survey I ran on my blog.

I’m dealing here with equities – buying shares in companies – though most of my arguments would apply to crowdfunding platforms offering ways to invest in property, loans, and other asset classes.

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Jan 2021 review – spring cleaning underway

The end of 2021’s first month.

January 2021 was quite an eventful month. Vaccine wars (amidst which, the UK has managed over 9m vaccines, thank goodness). Gameshop / WallStreetBets/ DeepFuckingValue memes. Trump’s coup over, Biden’s presidency now in place. Plenty going on.

Lockdown continues relentlessly in the UK. My area of London is proving to be reasonably compliant, to boot. Local covid-19 cases have halved since the early January peak, but remain far too high for comfort. Thankfully a large number of ‘oldies’ have been vaccinated, I know from personal experience, so with luck in a few weeks we will see that impact feeding through in the hospital statistics.

The markets ramped quite impressively in January, until they didn’t. The month end numbers suggest there isn’t much to see here – the month end hiding some quite vivid action.

In the meantime, I was very busy – trying to (partially, at least) replace my portfolio with one (ish) ETF. I’ll report on my progress below.

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Reducing my portfolio to one ETF

My last post, reviewing 2020, observed that my performance is, superficially at least, very similar to Vanguard’s WoRLd equity tracker ETF VWRL. Despite my portfolio involving a helluva lot more complexity/faff. My post elicited this comment from Bob:

Thanks for sharing, intriguing as always. As someone who recently (18 months ago) simplified my portfolio into three holdings: 1 VWRL seven figures, 2 [single megacap tech stock] six figures, 3 Vanguard Global Bond six figures. I find myself reading about your complexity and not feeling jealous one bit. So the question is, why do you dislike VWRL (or similar global tracker) so much? You mention the comparison several times, what is stopping you making the change? That is after all what reviews should lead to e.g. insights, and change.

Bob, commenting on 2 January 2020

Bob’s challenge is a good one. Why wouldn’t I just swap out my entire portfolio for, say, holding only a single world equities tracking ETF like VWRL or its non-Vanguard equivalents (see Monevator’s updated list of alternatives here, or the SRI alternatives listed on my ETFs page)?

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