I admit it, I got tempted by the high interest rates that you can get for investments in Russian Rubles (currently as high as 18.7%) and exchanged 350 Euros via the Mintos currency exchange service. The rates they offer are actually really decent and reflect the daily market rates. A small service fee applies (in my case 2.45 EUR) which is listed under Service Fees on your dashboard.
More information on Mintos’ FX service here: Mintos FX
Investing in a foreign currency is of course not much different from Euro investments. On my dashboard and in my Auto Invest settings I got an additional tab to select my Russian Ruble investments.
I also don’t think that loan originators that deal in currencies other than the Euro are more risky. After all, many available Euro loans on Mintos come from countries that are not part of the Euro zone and I happily invest in those as well without a second thought. Also, almost all loans in Rubles come with buyback guarantee.
The big difference, however, is the risk of fluctuating currency exchange rates that I’m now exposed to. Below, I plotted the exchange rates for the Russian Ruble RUB and the Kazakhstani Tenge KZT against the Euro for the past year. Those two currencies give you the highest possible interest rates on Mintos, 18.7% and 17.0%, respectively.
Both currencies depreciated quite a bit against the Euro: the RUB lost about 4.5% and the KZT about 7%, both with strong fluctuations in between. Had I cashed out and converted my funds back to Euros after that year my effective interest rates would be 13.3% for RUB and 9.2% for the KZT investments. In case of the RUB that is still on a similar level as the best EUR loans that come with buyback guarantee.
Basically, I made 2 separate investments: first, I invest into Russian Rubles by buying RUB for EUR; secondly, I invest in loans in RUB. This can go either way. If the RUB gets stronger again I’ll make much more than 18.7% profit. Or much less. Let’s see what happens. In any case, I wouldn’t invest in long term loans in foreign currencies due to the instability of the exchange rates. All the loans I bought in RUB have a duration of only 30 days or less.