micro-loans, anyone?

finances have really been roaming around in my head lately. maybe because i'm getting married and never really thought of merging my money before. never felt that my financial habits affected anyone but me. or rather, hearing that in order to retire one million or a billion will almost be a necessity in tomorrow's world. but i guess that's another story...

one thing i did about year ago was sign up for microplace.com which is owned by ebay. its a micro lending site for individual lenders to lend small amounts. i lend a few dollars at a time to people in countries where loans or money aren't as easily accessible for them as it is for us (in america). I make the loans in the names of friends and family members, as gifts. when i signed up, microplace would send a little piggy bank to the people i named as donors. i happen to think these were the best gifts i've given in a while. not only did i get to help others in need, and honor my friends and family members by naming them as donors, but i also got a return on my money. keep in mind the returns, like the loans, are micro, but they are returns nonetheless (2-4%).

i realize i won't reach my retirement goal with just these investments. but its a start.
i've also read about kivo.org, which is pretty much the same but loans more to poor(er) americans.

1 comment:

Rajan Alexander said...

What’s wrong with Micro-finance Institutions? Practically everything as the case of SKS illustrates.

The sooner MFIs are seen as profit enterprises, the better. The longer they pretend they are pro-poor, the longer they discredit the NGO sector that gave birth to a Frankenstein. By 2014, they target to reach 110 million borrowers. Remarkably, despite two decades of operations, if statistics are to be believed, these MFIs currently reach just 20 million people in the country, a good proportionate of them, multiple counted. Yet, they succeed in gaining an attention, so disproportionate to this minuscule reach. Act now to prevent them from becoming an epidemic scourge in the country. Act now, when they are most vulnerable. And how do we know they are vulnerable? Because Vijay Mahajan, the father of MFIs in India tells us so:

“We are facing collapse. Unless something changes on the ground, the industry as we know it is basically gone.”

Mahajan, we have news for you. The day when the likes of you are gone, that will be the turning point for the fight against poverty!

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