Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
  Lending Club By Loan Purpose And Months Since Last Delinquency

Update: Now that Lending Club has raised their loan limit, these numbers have all changed. So, please don't rely on these results. You can follow the methodology to perform your own analysis on the new data.

I changed the text values to numerical values: 1= vehicle (repair or purchase) 2=moving 3=consolidation/refinancing 4=Home Improvement 5=Small Business (includes: investing money in business, real estate, stock market, get rich quick schemes, funding for existing business, etc) 6=Education 7=Medical expenses 8=Wedding 9=Major purchase (RV, furniture, etc.) 10=Vacation 11=Misc. Other 12=Relending on Lending Club 13=Green/renewable. Swapping was easy for most of the data, I just used FIND/REPLACE, but loans with OTHER as the purpose were a problem and after sifting through 14,000 records, I'm not really happy with people who chose it to describe their loan.

I had to swap out the OTHER category by HAND. It took me several days to re-code all those OTHER loans (you're welcome). When reviewing stuff that was designated OTHER, if I couldn't tell in seconds what it was it got an 11. If it didn't have any information it got an 11. I probably should have added a "Taxes" category and an "Attorney" category because I encountered them a lot...but I didn't.

Fully Paid CountChargeOff/DefaultPurpose%

The percent column was calculated this way: ChargeOff&Default Count / (ChargeOff&Default Count + Fully Paid&Current Count).

I've been on Lending Club for awhile and I have never put money into a loan designated Small Business and I never will. I've co-founded two businesses so you'd think I'd be sympathetic to the plight of the entrepreneur, but lending money for a small business on Lending Club is just too risky with very little upside. As the data shows, a large percentage of these loans will be charged-off.

The MONTHS SINCE LAST DELINQUENCY data is not very reliable, roughly 20% of the cells do not have a value. It's been left blank. When looking through the data, it's not as simple as adding zero's in the blank spots. Some of those loans have had several delinquencies listed in the past 24 months column, but no value listed in the months since last delinquency column. Also, I believe if the borrower has never had a delinquency it shows up as a blank cell. Here's what the data looks like:

Fully Paid CountChargeOff/DefaultMonths%

I'm at the point where I can start putting together a picture of the loans I'd like to fund.


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010
  Lending Club - Some Surprising Findings

Update: Now that Lending Club has raised their loan limit, these numbers have all changed. So, please don't rely on these results. You can follow the methodology to perform your own analysis on the new data.

Once again, past performance is not indicative of future performance, invest at your own risk, etc. etc.
I was looking at the data and wondering how best to analyze 14,000 records. I decided to look at charge-offs and defaults (since that's what we're trying to avoid). Most people assume that smaller loans are more likely to be paid back. Slicing and dicing the data into ranges, (for example: 0 to 1000, 1001 to 2000, 2001 to 3000, etc.) and counting the number of loans that defaulted or were charged off in each of those ranges, we get a graph that looks like this:

And the data (via OPENOFFICE Frequency Function):

These results are pretty intriguing. If our hypothesis is that smaller loans tend to be repaid, this chart seems to indicate the opposite. Before you go investing in loans of $21,001 to $23,000 though, we need to check the fully paid and current loans to see what that chart looks like.
Slicing and Dicing, we get this chart:

And the data:


The distributions are similar which probably says more about the loans on Lending Club than the performance of those loans. I think there's some useful information here, but let's keep digging to see what we find.


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Monday, September 13, 2010
  Great Atlantic Ocean Sprint Tri

My pre-race ritual involves working on my bike the day before the race, and when I say working, I mean cleaning it, lubing it, and sometimes talking to it. Saturday, I started fixing my sister's bike, which involved a lot more than cleaning. I was told the front derailleur wasn't shifting...OMG it was a mess. The cam plate for the quick release on the front wheel was on the other side, The front derailleur cable was out of the stop and twisted around the rear derailleur cable. I didn't have the right tools, so I had to wait for my Brother-In-Law to show up with his. I got everything fixed and working smoothly.

Sunday morning, I was up early, went down to the check-in table to get some safety pins for my number. When I got back, my dad told me Heather was going to ride my mom's bike. I told him I hadn't looked at it, I didn't know if the brakes work, if it shifts ok. He told me it's a singlespeed with coaster brakes, just pump up the tires...OK, works for me.

As the sun came up, it felt grey and overcast. I left my glasses hanging on the fence at the boardwalk. I was standing around on shore with 160 other triathletes, when 6:42 rolled around. It was supposed to be an in-water start at 6:45. The last thing I wanted was to be standing on shore when the gun went off, so I swam out to be near a buoy. There was three of us out there...So, the race director called us back into shore and explained that the currents near the pier were so strong that they were dragging the buoys and their moorings out of place and the slower swimmers among us would be fish food. So, they were re-thinking their plan.

They decided they would do a beach start, we'd swim out about 50 yards, turn left and swim parallel to the beach until we got to the swim finish marker, round a buoy and then head in to shore. As they were setting up a buoy offshore from the swim finish area, the ocean moved the first buoy down to the new one...So, they reset the first buoy and the gun went off. We ran into the water and started diving through the waves. My plan was to start at the back of the pack. but I soon found myself passing a few people. One guy came up choking on seawater. I'd put my head down, take a few strokes and the buoy would magically appear closer (I wasn't swimming that fast, it was probably my poor vision playing tricks on me). I rounded the first buoy and the second one seemed really far away (and it was drifting further by the minute). I got about halfway to it and started to think "maybe this wasn't such a bright idea after all."

But once again, putting my head down and swimming got me magically closer. I got the full triathlon swim experience when some guy started hitting my feet as we swam in to shore. He was really working those arms hard. I put my head down and got a few good strokes in and tried to work with the waves, that got me far enough ahead of him, I could take it easy in to shore. By this time, I was feeling pretty wiped out. I body surfed most of the way into shore and could barely drag my ass up the beach. I could hear my family encouraging me on, but it was all I could do to keep moving forward. By the time I got to the boardwalk and had put on my glasses, I was able to hussle a bit more. I think there was around 50 people in my wave and I beat about 6 of them out of the water; overall, I was in the bottom 1/3 for the swim leg (99/135). My T1 was a respectable 1:46, about mid-pack.

I rolled out for the bike and felt really fast on my softride. The wind was blowing North so we had a headwind on the first leg south, then we crossed over the island to the bay side, went North a ways and turned back south. On the southbound bay side, there was a lot of vegetation on the side of the road that helped shelter me from the headwind. We crossed back over the island and headed North with a pretty good tailwind. I was able to hold 24 mph. On the second lap, I was able to notch up the speed a little bit. It felt like every time I passed someone, two people would pass me. My average speed was a hair under 20 mph according to the results and overall was near the top 1/3 (47/135). The fastest bike time was 34:16 and my time was 43:15, that's just nine minutes (or another 5 mph).

My T2 was a little slow. I started the run and my calves were all locked up, so I tried to run a pace I could hold. That wasn't working very well, I was breathing really fast and I knew that wasn't good. As I was suffering out to the turn-around, I saw my dad ride by and then my sister. I picked up the pace a bit for the return leg and once I got to the point where I could see the finish line, I started sprinting. About halfway there, I had to back off the pace for a bit, and then was able to sprint some more. I saw the clock say 1 hour, 30 minutes, and some seconds as I passed and I focused on getting my left foot (with the chip timer) to hit the blue mat to stop my clock. My family was all there, so that was exciting, but I really needed to sit down and catch my breath. My dad finished 3rd in his age group. When my sister came in, I ran down to the announcer and said, "that's my sister Heather Lamoureux and she donated a kidney for me." They said that's awesome, go run with her to the finish...As he called that out it, then corrected himself to "Heather Snover" I realized how wiped out I really was...She hasn't been Heather Lamoureux in over a decade. Yes, it takes awhile for the brain to kick back in after a really hard or really long effort.


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Thursday, September 09, 2010
  10 Minute Miles

Tuesday, was back to school for the kids. The wife worked from home to be able to see them off and pick them up. In the afternoon, while my toddler slept, I slapped on my Vibram 5 Fingers and went for a run. I jogged 1.2 miles out along the path in the neighborhood and back. I managed to run the whole distance without walking and I kept up a 10 minute mile pace. My legs are still pretty wasted from the effort, two days later, but I should be recovered for the race. My guess is that my time for the triathlon this weekend will be around 1:45 which would have put me pretty darn close to last place in last year's race...this year there are almost 3 times the number of entrants, so I'll probably have a better shot at coming in mid-pack.

My current dilemma is which bike to take? I have a Softride that is set up for this sort of thing, but the course is pretty short (2 x 7 mile lap) so the Litespeed with climbing wheels might be better at accelerating out of the turns. The long straight section out is around 2 miles and on the way back it's around 2.4 miles. Maybe the Softride with the climbing wheels instead of the Zipp 404 front/disk rear?


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Friday, September 03, 2010
  The Secret To Running...

My Daughter is doing a triathlon on Monday it's a fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand. I think it's going to be one length of the pool, A half mile bike ride, and then approximately a 1/8 mile run. She's tried running/jogging occasionally and she stops after a short while and complains of a pain in her side. I bought some Vibram 5 Fingers awhile ago and I've got a couple runs in on them. She saw me put them on two days ago and she said she wished she had a pair. She has asked me a couple of times to teach her the secret to running...

"Practice" I tell her. Yeah, I know that sounds a lot like the directions to Carnegie Hall...And I also know it's no secret...

Yesterday, someone asked me what made me think I could remodel my kitchen...Did I have skills? How did I get those skills? (He was looking to do the same thing). In a moment of clarity, I told him it takes more confidence than skills to start a project like that. Ever since we had a contractor put the addition on our house, I've been tackling small projects and learning along the way. I would never have been able to do this 10 years ago or even 3 years ago, but small successful projects along the way have built my confidence. These same lessons apply in ultracycling. You start out doing short 30 mile rides, build up to centuries, then you start tackling 200k and 300k brevets, work your way up to a 400k. Inside a 400k, you don't focus on the finish line, you focus on those little milestones - getting to the next control point, getting to the next convenience store, etc.


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Wednesday, September 01, 2010
  You Spin Me Right Round Baby

This past weekend I rode in the 24 Hours Of Booty in Columbia, MD. I'm 4 months post transplant and I'm finishing up a kitchen remodel, so I haven't trained for any kind of distance. The morning of the ride, I scrambled to get everything together, but I was able to get to Columbia and get my tent set up with a couple hours to relax.

While I was sitting there outside my tent resting, I heard a voice that sounded vaguely familiar and seconds later two men walked between my tent and the one next to me. It was Paul Gimbel. We were college roommates, he got me my first job in Virginia, we co-founded Tri-Mech Solutions and we hadn't seen each other in a decade. His goal for the ride was 300 miles and his friend Bob was hoping to do 150. I was just hoping to have fun, at least hit 100 miles to prepare for the Chuck and Crista Weekend Centuries. He got to see my wife ABL and meet my kids for the first time. I got to see his wife Heather and meet his two kids.

Last year the weather was brutal. I wrote about it here. This year the weather was awesome: sunny and mild temperatures. Earth Treks had a support stop on the backside of the course with watermelon, energy bars, and drinks from Trader Joes. There was more selection at the main area (Bootyville), but you had to pull off the course and park the bike, so I liked this stop best. I rode the first 10 or 15 miles with Paul, but he was gunning for that 300 miles and I couldn't hold the pace. I backed off and rode my own ride. About 70 miles into the ride, I was feeling really bloated. My body wasn't used to riding and taking in food and fluids and I knew from past experience, the best thing to do would be to get some rest and let my body get some recovery time in.

I went to sleep for a couple hours, but I still wasn't feeling well when I woke up, so I changed out of my stinky cycling clothes, went back to sleep, and woke up around midnight for the Three Brothers pizza. I went back to sleep. I had some food when I woke up and got back on the bike around 8 am. I started cranking out laps. When I got to 100 miles, my legs started feeling really good and I flew up the gradual climb on the back side, lap after lap. The short steep climb near Bootyville was hit or miss, sometimes I felt like big ringing it, sometimes I just had to slog up it.

Paul was racing to finish with 300 miles. Every couple of laps, he would pass me and tell me his mileage. He was worried he wouldn't make it. I hit my limit and 125 miles with about 10 minutes left in the 24 hours, so I pulled off the course. Paul hit his goal with minutes to spare.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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