If you’re looking for a way to diversify from the stock market, you will likely consider alternative assets. There are many options, including wine, art, legal finance, and real estate investments, but there’s also the private credit sector.
Until recently, private credit wasn’t readily available, but SEC changes have allowed it, and the emergence of platforms like Percent.com.
If you’re looking for investments with cash flow, short terms, and diversification from the stock market, here’s what you must know about Percent and its alternative investments in private credit.
A Brief Overview of Percent.com
Relaxed SEC guidelines over the last 10+ years opened more possibilities for investors, including private credit. This includes private loans for small businesses, consumers, and startups.
Percent gives investors access to these alternative assets, but you must be an accredited investor. They work with 40+ corporate borrowers to provide investors with various opportunities to diversify their portfolios.
Percent helps businesses of multiple sizes and industries get the financing they need that they can’t get from traditional banks.
Percent.com doesn’t have a long history yet, since it opened in 2018. However, as of March 31, 2023, mature deals have a historical weighted average of 12.56% APY and a default rate of less than 2%. They’ve paid $27.05 million in interest and had 341 deals fully repaid.
What Is an Alternative Investment?
Alternative investments are investments in anything except traditional assets, such as stocks and bonds. Of course, you may already invest in alternative assets, such as real estate or art, but there are hundreds of other categories, including private credit.
Alternative assets help diversify your portfolio so you aren’t investing only in assets that fluctuate with the stock market.
What Percent.com Offers Investors
Percent.com brings together borrowers, underwriters, and investors, in one marketplace. They help corporate borrowers raise capital, and investors find great investment opportunities they wouldn’t find in the traditional market.
It’s great for both sides, allowing borrowers to get the funds needed to achieve their business-related financial goals. In addition, investors can earn cash flow and interest on their investments, most of which are short-term.
Most investments are in unsecured promissory notes; however, Percent.com provides transparency through a data room and surveillance reports to ensure you know the details of the investment and the accompanying risk.
Get a Variety of Loans to Invest In
So far, Percent.com has funded 396 loans, and 341 have been fully repaid. The investments vary and may include consumer lending, litigation finance, trade receivables, SMB loans, SMB leases, merchant cash advances, and corporate loans.
Investors can diversify their capital across many investment options to increase the risk of a positive return.
Cash Bonus for First-Time Investors
When you invest with Percent, you can get up to $500 as part of a special cash bonus incentive for first-time investors. The amount of the bonus, which ranges from $100 to $500, depends on how much you invest.
If your investment is $1,000, for example, you will receive $100. A $5,000 bonus will get you $200 extra, and larger investments like $25,000 and $50,000 receive a $400 and $500 bonus, respectively.
Once you make your first deposit, the cash bonus will be directly deposited into your Percent account.
Even if you have invested with Percent before, you may still be eligible for the bonus. You’ll just need to create a new account first under a new entity (or create an individual account if you currently invest as an entity).
Terms From 1 to 36 Months
Percent.com doesn’t require long holding periods, as some alternative assets, such as REITs, require. Instead, they have options for short-term investments of as little as one month and some as long as several years.
Single Note and Blended Investing
If you’re looking for diversification made easy, consider Percent.com’s Blended Notes. Percent Blended Notes provide a single investment that’s diversified across many deals on the Percent.com platform. This provides access to notes across different industries, demographics, and geographic areas.
The minimum investment for a Blended Note is $5,000, with a 1% assets under management fee.
Fee-Free Single Note Investing
If you invest in single notes, Percent.com doesn’t charge any fees, as of April 2023, and most investments have a minimum requirement of $500.
Self-Directed IRA With Percent
Currently, any new accounts you create with Percent.com are for standard taxable accounts. However, they offer the option to use self-directed and custodial IRA accounts. The process works differently and is a little complex, but they are working out ways to simplify IRA investing on Percent.com.
Accredited Investors Only
It’s important to know that Percent.com is only for accredited investors at this time. Accredited investors have had an income of at least $200,000 annually for the last two years or have a net worth of at least $1 million.
Who Percent.com Is Beneficial For
Percent.com is a viable option for many types of investors, but as I said, you must be an accredited investor.
Percent is optimal for investors interested in short-term investments, as most are a few months to a year, with some exceptions. The stock market and real estate investments offer longer-term options, but investing with Percent offers more short-term opportunities.
Percent is also great for investors looking for ways to diversify their portfolios. Stocks, bonds, and real estate are great ways to fill a portfolio, but short-term investments can help diversify it further.
Percent.com Fees and Charges
Currently, Percent.com doesn’t charge investors fees for single note investments, but you must meet the minimum investment required for each investment option.
The only charge is on Percent Blended Notes, which charges 1% of assets under management; however, for individual deals, Percent plans to implement a fee of 10% of the intended interest rate before distributing earnings.
Opening an Account With Percent
It’s free to open an account with Percent. This allows you to see the available investments, but you aren’t obligated to invest in anything.
When you create your account, you can see the list of corporate borrowers, their historical performance, and their loan details to help you make decisions.
The opportunities may include the reason for the investment (what the borrower is trying to accomplish), the minimum amount to invest, the intended APY, and the length of the investment.
The information may also include information about the investment risk, collateral, and other details for investor risk analysis.
Funding Your Percent Investment
If you find an investment you’re interested in, you can begin funding your account. But first, you must prove your identity.
To verify your identity, Percent uses an identity verification service that uses your photo IDs and AI to verify your identity.
After proving your identity, Percent requires you to verify that you are an accredited investor. To help expedite the accreditation process, they’ve partnered with the accreditation platform Parallel Markets to verify each investor’s accredited investor status.
You can fund your account via wire transfer or ACH. Keep in mind that ACH transfers can take up to five days, but wire transfers usually take one day and may incur a fee from your bank.
If you think alternative investing is right for you, Percent.com offers many opportunities to invest in short-term loans with high APYs.
How Percent Compares to Other Loan Investing Spaces
Since Percent is fairly new to investors, it’s important to compare it to other options available.
Percent Compared to Yieldstreet
Yieldstreet is another alternative investment marketplace for investors. They have a broader range of alternative assets than Percent. For example, they offer investments in fine art, real estate, legal finance, transportation, crypto, and private credit.
Yieldstreet offers investments with very short terms and longer terms and charges fees that range from 0% to 3%, depending on the investment. Yieldstreet also has a self-directed IRA program, so you don’t have to go the custodial route.
Yieldstreet also has one opportunity for non-accredited investors: a multi-asset fund. Investors must have a minimum investment of $2,500, giving non-accredited investors a chance to invest in alternative assets.
Percent Alternative Investing Compared to Traditional Investments
Percent offers investments in an alternative asset class that most investors have not had access to on their own. Investing in short to medium-term loans can be lucrative given the right conditions, but the traditional investor has only had access to stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and real estate investments.
There is a higher risk in using Percent since you’re investing in private credit, but the returns are often higher than the traditional market.
Pros and Cons of Percent
Understanding the pros and cons of Percent can help you determine if it’s right for you.
- High Rate of Return – Percent has a historical pattern of paying 12%+ APYs, which is much higher than traditional investments, especially those with a short horizon.
- Low Minimum Investment Requirement – Each investment has a different minimum requirement but is typically lower than other high-yield investments, some as low as $500.
- Short-Term Investing – You don’t have to tie up your funds for many years to see high APYs. You can invest in assets that mature in as little as one month or as long as 36 months.
- Correlation to the Stock Market Is Low – Investing in assets that don’t correlate with the stock market is a great way to diversify your portfolio. Then, if the stock market crashes, you don’t have to worry about losing everything because you don’t have all your capital invested in it.
- No Investor Fees – Currently, Percent doesn’t charge any direct fees to investors. This may change in the future, but for now, there aren’t any fees.
- Transparent Investing – Percent offers a lot of data about their investment opportunities and corporate borrowers on their platform to help you make an informed decision.
- Accredited Only Investors – Percent doesn’t have an option for non-accredited investors like some of its competitors. You must prove you’re an accredited investor, or you can’t invest.
- Limited Historical Results – Since Percent is new, there isn’t a long history of results yet. But their track record of performance can be found here.
Percent’s Safety and Security
Percent uses bank-level security to ensure the privacy of your information. This means all information is encrypted before transferring. They also have an FDIC-insured account for all cash balances up to $250,000.
This doesn’t mean the investments themselves are risk-free on the platform, though. Alternative investments have a higher risk, so be sure you understand the investment’s risk first.
You can contact Percent via phone or email by calling 1-646-876-5141 or emailing [email protected]. Customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM ET.
Frequently Asked Questions
While Percent.com is fairly new, it offers investors a great way to invest in alternative assets. Here are some common questions about the platform.
Will you actually make money using Percent?
There’s never a guarantee you’ll make money with any investment platform. Percent allows investment in alternative assets, but you take all the risk. They offer transparent information to help you determine if an investment is worth it for you, but you should consider the overall risk and big picture when deciding.
How do you make money with Percent?
Investors make money from interest charged on the loans and the return of principal upon maturity. You can make withdrawal requests at any time from your Percent account (of funds not currently invested) and transfer them to your bank account.
Withdrawal requests made on business days prior to 3:45 PM ET will be processed the same day. Requests made after this time will be processed the following business day.
How do you know if you are accredited or not?
You’re an accredited investor if you meet any of the following:
- You make $200,000 per year for the last two years
- You have $1 million in assets (alone or combined with your spouse)
- You have a Series 7, 65, or 82 license
- Your joint income with a spouse or partner exceeds $300,000 for the last two years
Should You Use Percent.com?
Including alternative assets in your portfolio can be a good way to diversify, and Percent can help you achieve this goal.
Investing in alternative assets is risky, and you must be an accredited investor to start.
However, if you think alternative investing is right for you, Percent offers many opportunities to invest in short-term loans with higher APYs, helping you diversify your portfolio.