For those of you who are regular readers of the site, you will have noticed some changes in the past week. For one, I did a complete overhaul for the site design, including a svelte new web font and logo (hit refresh if you don’t see it). Less noticeably, I gave the site a speed and security upgrade, moving to a sorta-dedicated LiteSpeed server and fine-tuning the way it executes CSS/PHP. I may add a CDN in the coming year, but for now the current setup seems to meet the site’s needs.
Nov 1 Update: Congrats to our winners: Alex and Bob.
The Extinction of Traditional Investing
It is my belief that investing as we know it is dying. The typical method of passively trusting our retirement to some faceless mutual fund manager seems less and less fruitful (or sane) with each teeth-grinding year that goes by. The country is growing tired of being told to have blind faith in a market that looks like this:
Traditional investing is proving itself to be unrewarding, unstable, laden with hidden expensive fees, and choked by inefficiency. Investors are calling the last 10 years a lost decade. Will it take another ten lost years before we declare our most popular form of investing dead in the water?
The Need for a New Financial Medium
There is no silver bullet answer to this collective national groan (IE: investing in alpaca farms). No, the answer is to the change the game as we know it – to change the medium itself. Why has the nation continued to prefer investments in companies rather than people? After all, consumer lending is far more stable and rewarding than the stock market (see: The Fertle Fields of Consumer Credit).
We need an overhaul of how we invest, and I believe peer to peer lending is a harbinger of a wider financial renewal that will embrace the fabric of the internet. Peer to peer lending is efficient and rewarding, simple and stable, and it rewards active self-direction over passive ignorance. And while online lending is currently geared toward consumer loans, it is really just beginning. Nearly all avenues of investing seem like they will eventually migrate to this fresh new medium.
A beautiful thing has followed the advent of the internet: financial empowerment. Twenty years ago, success and failure were often determined by the broken systems people were born into. Yet today through online lending, a twenty year old kid in Walla Walla who makes sandwiches at Subway can (if he possesses the desire) earn a stable 9-12% return by becoming knowledgeable in peer to peer lending. This kind of return has, for the majority of our nation’s history, solely been possible through financial professionals. No longer.
LendingMemo’s Goal: The #1 P2P Education Site in the Nation
LendingMemo is aiming to be the primary education portal for peer to peer lending in the United States. Both Lending Club and Prosper, while doing a passable job at lender education through FAQs and blog posts, simply do not need to cater to retail investors like ourselves. Their energies are better spent elsewhere.
As a result, a large need exists, a need that LendingMemo hopes to provide: information for self-directed individuals nationwide to become knowledgeable in peer to peer lending, promoting the earning of stable, socially-responsible, lucrative returns.
$1000 Reader Giveaway: Enter Four Times
To celebrate this renewed mission and new design, I have two $500 Amazon gift cards to give away. Similar to our last contest, each person can multiple times (through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and on this site).
Entry #1. Like LendingMemo on Facebook here
Entry #2. Follow LendingMemo on Twitter here
Entry #3. Follow LendingMemo on Google+ here
Entry #4. Leave a comment below
Thanks for Reading
The purpose of this giveaway is twofold. For one, I am eager to raise awareness of peer to peer lending though promoting this site across social media, and widening LendingMemo’s social community accomplishes this. Secondly though, this giveaway is simply returning $1000 of this site’s affiliate earnings, and doing so out of gratitude. To all of you who have followed along this past year: thank you. It has been a honest pleasure to collectively explore the ins and outs of this fabulous new financial alternative together.
PS: Official rules here (pdf). In two weeks from today (Nov 1), two winners will be randomly selected out of all entries and emailed a $500 Amazon gift certificate. In our last giveaway, just 13 people entered – pretty good odds!
[image credit: prettywar-stl "Tough Guys" CC-BY 2.0]