Percent is quickly building a reputation as the go-to platform for private credit alternative investments. But how does it stack up to the competition? Get the full scoop with our Percent review.
What Is Percent (Originally Cadence)?
Percent is a platform that provides accredited investors direct access to exclusive alternative investment opportunities in the form of private credit. It also has a software suite that facilitates the structuring of issuing of debt capital at scale.
Nelson Chu (the CEO) founded the company back in 2018. Percent was originally named Cadence before changing its name in 2021, and it’s headquartered in New York.
One of the major draws of Percent is that it offers a wide range of private credit offerings. A healthy, diversified portfolio can help weather market volatility, and the platform shines here. Also, non-correlated investments can shield you from stock market swings.
Some investments provided by the platform include:
- Consumer loans
- Trade receivables
- SMB loans
- SMB cash advances
- SMB leases
- Blended notes (more on this later)
Since its inception, Percent has helped thousands of investors allocate more than $600 million and earn over $15 million in interest.
Who Can Invest With Percent?
Only accredited investors can invest with Percent.
All investments offered on the Percent platform are Reg 506(d) exempt, so you must be accredited with one or more US bank accounts to start investing.
There are two ways to become an accredited investor and use Percent to start investing.
- One way is by proving you have earned income topping $200,000 in each of the prior two years, or $300,000 of joint income between you and your partner.
- Alternatively, if you have a net worth exceeding $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse, excluding the worth of your primary residence, you can also gain accredited status.
Percent is a self-accredited platform, meaning that you must prove you are accredited before accessing any investing tools on its website.
How Does Percent Work?
Percent provides short-duration, high-yield investments where you can be in and out in as little as one month — if refinanced.
You have the chance to earn money through accrued interest. After the investment opportunity matures or notes have been called, you can re-invest accrued earnings from the interest paid into a new opportunity.
Also, contrary to several alternative investments, like real estate investment trusts (REITs), shorter duration private credit investments like Percent’s deals can provide investors the return of entire principal and interest between one to several months, if deals are refinanced. Percent’s offerings typically have a maturity of nine months.
Once you sign up for the platform, you gain access to a large library of investment options that you can sift through at your leisure.
Every investment offered by Percent contains details on the originator, the minimum investment required to start investing, and the investment terms. You also get a look at the annual percentage yield of each investment.
All new opportunities include an investment objective. Each objective tells you how much money is needed for the investment to be fully funded or closed.
What Is a Blended Note?
As Percent expanded, the investment platform went beyond individual private credit investments and established unique opportunities in the form of blended notes.
Percent’s Blended Notes afford investors diversified exposure across the platform’s current deals. Rather than investing in notes from a single originator, you can access various notes through one transaction.
The Blended Note has underlying assets that include notes from eligible programs on the investment platform that fulfill all requirements indicated by the eligibility criteria.
Eligible note programs are typically characterized as having strong cash control, as well as reporting and servicing requirements. Also, contrary to other note programs, Blended Notes don’t require investors to periodically roll over their positions to keep their respective allocations.
- Short-Term Investing
- Uncorrelated returns
- High-yield opportunities
- Blended Notes
- Low Minimum Investment
The investing platform’s short-term investment opportunities can help you earn higher yields without locking in your money over an extended period. Even better, these potentially high-yield investments are accompanied by cash-generating assets and are uncorrelated.
You could earn as much as 18% in annualized returns with your investments. And some deals can roll over within a month, giving investors access to liquidity should they need it.
The Percent portal allows you to track your returns on a timeline, providing useful data and the overall balance. Plus, you can check your history of investments on the website.
There are notes offering exposure to short-term business lending, wage advances, and residential mortgages, among other asset classes. Durations range from one month to several years, with the average at 9 months.
The standardized offerings provided by Percent allow you to invest more broadly thanks to the added exposure across various asset classes. It also lets you test different strategies and determine which one makes the most financial sense.
You can invest your way, whether by investing in deals offering exposure to small business lending in Latin America or litigation finance in the US.
Investors can make a singular investment with a Blended Note, with the note having automatically established priority access to various private credit transactions offered by Percent.
Percent uses concentration thresholds to choose which investments best correlate with the Blended Note via their investment manager, Percent Advisors, LLC. To ensure diversification, the investment manager only buys eligible note programs through a predetermined threshold, limiting the investment amount that can be put forward.
A maximum of 10% of a portfolio can be invested in a single, eligible note program. The allocation prioritizes the highest return and over-collateralization, as well as the shortest duration.
Percent also uses a proprietary algorithm when choosing investments for the Blended Note. The algorithm determines interest distributions, cash management, and interest distributions daily.
Investors receive variable monthly interests over the first year for Blended Notes. Any monthly interests during the one-year time frame depend on received aggregated interest payments from the underlying portfolio of revolving notes.
Following the one-year period, amortization begins through principal repayments and variable monthly interest. Any principal repayments or interest payments made depend on aggregated interest received from the underlying portfolio of Percent notes.
Users can go to the Opportunities page on the Percent portal to see how to invest in Blended Notes and optimize future results.
Low Minimum Investment
The low minimum investment marker is one of the most attractive features of Percent. The minimum investment for the majority of the platform’s short-term note program is $500, a relatively low minimum within the alternative investments space. Percent also offers investment opportunities — such as Percent Blended Notes — with higher minimums such as $20,000.
There are plenty of services where the minimum ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. So the $500 minimum is a nice change of pace.
This also plays into portfolio diversity, as the lower threshold means that you can evenly spread your cash across more investments at once.
As of June 2022, there are no fees required to invest on the Percent platform. You only need to pay the minimum investment figure to begin investing. Percent does plan to implement fees in the near future — a fee that is 10% of the stated interest rate, collected from each distribution.
For instance, if an investor has a $1,000 allocation in a $1 million offering with a monthly pay interest rate of 12%, they would previously earn $10 a month in interest until maturity. With the new fee structure, investors would receive $9 a month, and Percent would collect $1 a month in fees — 10% of the $10 received (or 1% of the $1,000 invested) — until maturity.
Is Percent Legit?
Percent is a legitimate platform that provides quality investment opportunities.
The investment team prioritizes transparency at every turn, using proprietary technology that allows you to view various types of market data on all companies and deals. You can compare deals before investing and track how they perform after closing.
Percent has a proven track record despite only being in the public consciousness for less than four years. They also offer regular surveillance reports for originators.
Can You Make Money with Percent?
You can make money with Percent, but there are no guarantees.
According to past performance metrics, Percent’s historical APY on mature deals is just over 12%, with its current APY for outstanding deals over 14%
Most investments on the platform allow you to earn interest monthly and also offer payment structures where investors receive amortized principal payments until the investment matures.
For every note offered on Percent, a term sheet is always distributed after a deal closes. This term sheet will contain all relevant security details, as well as a detailed payment schedule. For amortizing notes, you will see the payment amount remains the same, but the principal outstanding reduces over time.
Percent Pros and Cons
Percent’s platform has a lot going for it, but there are a few drawbacks to the service.
Let’s take a look at its pros and cons.
- Many private credit deals to choose from
- Venture investing through corporate loan program
- Targets high-yielding, short-term investments
- Minimum investment of only $500 for a majority of deals
- Liquidity (9-month positions, on average)
- Un-correlated with traditional investments in the stock market
- No fees as of June 1, 2022 (unless you’re using the Prime platform)
- Only for accredited investors
- No mobile app
We scoured the web for reviews of Percent on third-party aggregate sites, but it’s slim pickings.
We’ll keep you posted if we find a bigger pool of reviews to report on.
For now, we can say that we give Percent high marks.
Is Percent Right for Me?
Percent is one of the best places on the market to find alternative investments, so it could be a good fit for a range of investors. That being said, the platform is better suited for some than others.
First and foremost, you’ll need to be an accredited investor to hop on board. If Percent finds a way to roll out investments for non-accredited investors, they could get a lot out of the service.
Percent’s alternative investment opportunities are geared toward growth. Some platforms focus on stable long-term appreciation, but Percent aims to provide the chance for 18% annualized returns.
Investors who don’t want their money tied up for years will be happy to know that an investment is typically intended to be held for about nine months, though investors can get liquidity earlier when notes are called. This is a far cry from alternative investments that are held for at least 2-5 years, like real estate.
The Percent platform has three key features that encourage portfolio diversification: extensive asset classes, blended notes, and low minimum investment. These allow you to evenly disperse your investments without breaking the bank.
Is Percent Worth It?
Percent is an excellent platform, considering the low minimum investment, the current lack of fees (as of June 2022), the data provided, and the wide range of short-term investments available.
Making money is not a guarantee when you invest. But based on the payment schedule of each deal, you can receive interest and amortized principal payments and invest those funds in new opportunities as you see fit.
You can also get strong rates and a good amount of protection thanks to special purpose vehicles that are bankruptcy-remote legal entities providing industry-standard layer protection.
If you’re an accredited investor considering alternative investments, Percent is a great place to start.