Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. This is because it alone is a day where our entire culture stops working and focuses completely on gratitude. Teachers, accountants, businessmen, scientists, construction workers, secretaries, near everybody ceases their labor for a full day to be thankful for what they have. This Thursday, millions of Americans will sit around a table, eat food together, and actualize their true wealth, the people in their lives that make them happiest.
I’ll be spending this holiday with family again, and am looking forward to that time. I actually took the above picture last Thanksgiving out of the window of my childhood home in Michigan, which is again blanketed with a heavy snow this year. I’m grateful to a place to come back to that possesses both family and natural beauty.
What is Our Greatest Wealth?
As I’ve been working in the online lending industry for the past couple of years, I have seen how earning a return can sometimes become more important than why it’s being earned in the first place. Facts and figures have this ability to become disembodied from life, particularly as our society spends more and more time behind screens each year.
But in reality, our returns do not really mean anything on their own. Say I’m earning 7% per year in my peer to peer lending account. That 7% remains just a number, thin and trite, unless it is attached to something else. This is, of course, the basic principle of money altogether. These green scraps of paper currency are completely meaningless until they are exchanged for real things.
How silly it would be if things were any other way. Imagine Thanksgiving being the holiday where everybody in America prints off their financial statements and circles the yearly return with a colored pen, gazing at it while eating turkey and stuffing.
Indeed, this holiday does a great job at revealing what exactly it is that we are most thankful for. And of all the tangible things in this world that we could surround ourselves with at a Thanksgiving table, we choose the ones we love. ROI can’t really hold a candle to them. Our deepest expression of gratitude is reserved for individuals who have walked by our side throughout the year. They are the ones who make life worth living, and I love how this holiday acts as a device to remind me of that.
People Make Investing Important
This isn’t to downplay the importance of investing. Quit the opposite. I feel taking a day to emphasize the importance of loved ones makes me appreciate investing all the more, since earning a great return means having more time to spend with others. ‘Money can’t buy happiness,’ as the saying goes, but it certainly does buy us time where we can stop focusing on work and relax in the presence of our friends and family. In this way, great returns at Prosper and Lending Club are responsible for all sorts of health and connection.
Often you see sites like LendingMemo championing this investment for the way it gets borrowers out of debt, and this is worth reemphasizing again and again. But peer to peer lending is also getting investors ‘out of work’, so to speak, through its great returns and low volatility. And in this way, I am thankful for it.
I want to take a moment to thank everybody who works hard in this space and is as thrilled about peer to peer lending as I am. First are the platforms themselves: Lending Club for its incredible leadership of this industry, and Prosper for its equally talented and hard-working team. Both of these companies pull long hours to give their investors a great return, and we would be less without them.
Secondly, I am thankful for the voices of people who are active in this space, the websites, the toolsites, those who leave comments, basically all of those who are fascinated with what’s going on and curious to see what’s coming. 2014 has been another incredible year in this industry, and I’m excited to see what this next one can offer as well.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.